• Kyodo

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A centuries-old porcelain plate on loan from Japan has been found partially damaged, but a joint investigation has ruled out vandalism and human negligence, Taiwan’s National Palace Museum said Wednesday.

The 17th century, Imari-style porcelain ware is among items loaned by the Museum of Oriental Ceramics in Osaka to the National Palace Museum to celebrate the opening of its southern branch in Chiayi County, central Taiwan, in December 2015.

It was found damaged Tuesday morning, having fallen off its stand inside a glass display box.

The museum was temporarily shut down to examine the situation, while experts from the Osaka museum arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon to jointly investigate the cause.

The Taiwanese museum said in a statement that the two sides determined that a reattached part of the plate, which had been damaged and repaired before, became unsealed and fell off, causing the whole thing to fall down from the stand.

The Japanese museum agreed to let its Taiwanese counterpart repair the object and put it back on display afterward, it said.

The two sides agreed to take advantage of this opportunity to establish a process for cooperation in the restoration of artifacts for future loans. The head of the Osaka museum has been invited to Taiwan to discuss the possibility of becoming sister museums.

The exhibition will run through next year as scheduled.

While the main museum in Taipei features a large collection of antiquities collected by various Chinese emperors over the course of a millennium, the southern branch focuses on Asian artifacts and books.

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