After preparing for two years, the research project into the restoration and conservation of The Hall of Mental Cultivation was launched Monday at the Palace Museum.
Preparations began in December 2015, when collections inside the hall were labeled, recorded, restored and studied.
The restoration work will cover 7,707 square meters, including 13 ancient buildings along with the doors and screen wall.
"We have to adopt our unique way of restoration work," Shan Jixiang, the director of the Palace Museum, told the Global Times, "which is to keep the original appearance of the old buildings as faithful as possible, and repair the broken places to keep them intact."
"The artisan spirit is what we need for restoration work for all the historical relics in China," Shan said at the launch.
On the roof of hall sits a box of precious items shown at the launch.
"It is the colored painting on the box which makes this box different from the others," Xu Chaoying, the expert from the Palace Museum told the Global Times. "We haven't opened it yet, but it is much more delicate than other boxes we found in other halls."
The box will be placed back on the roof after the restoration work is completed.
The Hall of Mental Cultivation served as the emperor's resting room in popular Chinese historical dramas like The Story of Yanxi Palace and Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace. In reality, it was used to hold political activities. Eight emperors reigned there, making the hall the heart of politics during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).