U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University

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Bryant launches project to replicate
Forbidden City's Shu Fang Zhai in Rhode Island

May 17, 2008

The new building will be the first authentic replica to be built outside of China with the permission and cooperation of the Chinese government.

Bryant University and its U.S.-China Institute today announced, on May 17, an ambitious project that will bring a replica of the Forbidden City's Shu Fang Zhai to the Bryant campus.

The replica will be the first to be built outside of China with the permission and cooperation of the Chinese government. Once completed, Bryant's Shu Fang Zhai (pronounced SHOO FONG JAI) will become the new home of Bryant's U.S.-China Institute. The project is expected to cost approximately $15 million.

The announcement was made at morning unveiling of a scale model of the building. Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley, along with former President George H.W. Bush and Chinese entrepreneur Fan Jinchuan, assisted with the unveiling and offered brief remarks.

The University is working directly with the Forbidden City's chief architect, who will supervise the fabrication of the buildings following age-old processes used within the Forbidden City. The structure will then be disassembled and shipped to the Bryant campus to be erected here.

At 178 acres, the Forbidden City in Beijing is the world's largest palace complex. For five centuries (1420-1912), emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties called the Forbidden City's 9,000-plus rooms home. The Forbidden City also served as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Shu Fang Zhai Zhai was built in 1420 and renovated in the 18 th century. It served as a venue for elaborate banquets and opera performances.

Although portions of the Forbidden City are now open to the public, Shu Fang Zhai is not. Since 1924, when the Forbidden City came under the care of the Palace Museum, Shu Fang Zhai has served as a VIP reception chamber for heads of states and dignitaries.
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Bryant commemorates 30th anniversary of U.S.-China Relations

Ambassador Wu Jianmin delivered a keynote speech on the complex and multifaceted relationship between the two countries on Feb. 6 in Providence, Rhode Island.


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