Premier Chen Chien-jen on Friday spoke at the opening ceremony for a special joint exhibition by the National Palace Museum (NPM) and Vatican Apostolic Library, titled "Splendors of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and Rare Books from the Ming and Qing Imperial Libraries." In his speech, Premier Chen called the exhibition a "concrete model of international cultural cooperation and exchange" and expressed his deep gratitude to both institutions for their efforts in finally bringing the exhibition to Taiwan, overcoming three postponements in three years caused by the pandemic to unite representative treasures from East and West through time and across geographies.
Premier Chen said that in 2017, in his capacity as Vice President, he met with His Excellency Archbishop Jean‐Louis Brugus—then Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church—and they discussed their mutual desire for ongoing interaction through the "exchange of books," establishing a solid agreement on deepening mutual connections through cultural exchange, to provide Taiwanese with the opportunity to further understand the Catholic culture of the Vatican.
The premier said the NPM has been called one of the world's four great museums, and given its unique historical status and unparalleled collection, it has long been a must-see attraction in Taiwan. In an effort to expand cultural diplomacy by promoting the Museum as a world-class travel destination, the Executive Yuan allotted over NT$10 billion (US$324 million) to implement the New NPM Project, dedicated to conserving and securing national treasures while improving visitor experience and increasing overall tourism potential.
An arts and culture industry revitalization plan is also a component of the government's recently proposed special budget for post-pandemic recovery. Among the benefits is an expansion of consumer credit for youths aged 18 to 21, which can be spent on arts and culture-related activities such as visiting museums and galleries, or enjoying performances and art shows.