Unforbidden city

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- The software giant IBM has opened online doors to a virtual version of the famed Forbidden City in China that for centuries served as an exclusive realm for the country's emperors. The us-based technology colossus spent more than three years working with Chinese officials and Beijing Palace Museum to construct an interactive, animated replica of the 7.2 million sq-m walled fortress.

Forbidden City: Beyond Space & Time is online at www.beyondspaceandtime.org. It is billed as the first-of-a-kind three-dimensional virtual recreation of "this Chinese cultural treasure" in Beijing.

Built in the early 14th century, The Forbidden City served as home to the emperor and the political heart of the Chinese government from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912. It is now overseen by Beijing's Palace Museum.

At the online version, virtual tourists can scrutinize artefacts and scenes, including "The Emperor Having Dinner". Virtual tours can be narrowed to topics such as dragons, halls, symbolic animals, or the expansive Imperial Garden.

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