During a press conference on March 29, Palace Museum Director Shan Jixiang announced that a massive inventory sweep of the Forbidden City has revealed previously unknown priceless artifacts.

According to Shan, 55,132 items were discovered during an inventory check of the museum grounds carried out from 2014 to 2016, raising the total number of items in the collection from 1,862,690 to 1,807,558 objects by the end of 2016.

The newly discovered items were mainly found covered in dust in hard to find corners of storerooms. Some highlights include manuscripts by the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), oracle bones, stone tablets and old photographs of the Forbidden City taken during the Qing Dynasty.

Old photographs are key to understanding the history and society of the late Qing Dynasty, including the life of Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty.