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Klokken van de keizer

Documentary, 2010, 61 min.

In the eighteenth century, musical clocks were made for the Chinese emperor, the so-called SingSongs. Shaped like people, animals or pagodas, and preferably executed in gold and with inlaid gems. Only a handful is left in Europe, but in the Forbidden City in Beijing there are still 1500. Eight of them were restored in the Museum Speelklok.
In various ways, the documentary about the restoration process reveals the cultural differences between China and the Netherlands. The curators of the Chinese Palace Museum are shocked by the Dutch's restoration views, and the Dutch are told that the Chinese do not believe in mutual confidence, only in contracts. The value of a documentary about the restoration eludes the Chinese and this leads to a tense situation, which could endanger a possible, unique exhibition of the Chinese clocks in Utrecht. So, it appears that the words of a Chinese guide in the Forbidden City: 'He who has the time has the power' are still valid.

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