NANJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- A rare duplicate of a classic Chinese book will be open to the public free of charge in an east China city starting on Friday, local authorities said.
The reproduction of the "Siku Quanshu," or the "Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature," will be on display in the Wanfo Building at Tianning Temple of Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province, a spokesman with the copy's maker, Yangzhou Bindings, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
The "Siku Quanshu" originally had seven copies, most of which were destroyed during warfare. The Yangzhou copy, which took more than a decade to make, was based on the classic's "Wen Jin Ge" edition, one of three remaining completely preserved copies. The original "Wen Jin Ge" edition is currently preserved at the National Library of China (NLC).
The copy of the masterpiece, which contains Chinese philosophy, history, classics and literature, is published by the Commercial Press. It will have the same size, color and print as the original copy in the NLC.
"Making the copy has been the biggest duplication project in China so far," said the spokesman.
Compilation of the "Siku Quanshu," launched under the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and organized by the literary emperor himself, took 15 years to complete.
By covering a wide range of knowledge and organizing most of the significant works from various schools of Chinese thought, the imperial collection is one of the biggest volumes ever compiled in China.