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'Queen bag' sold out at National Portrait Gallery exhibition in Taiwan

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A souvenir tote bag bearing an image of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo courtesy of the Chimei Museum

Tainan, Sept. 10 (CNA) A souvenir tote bag bearing an image of Queen Elizabeth II was sold out Friday at a museum gift shop in Tainan, where portraits of iconic British figures are being featured at an exhibition, according to the organizers.

After the death of the queen was announced Thursday (U.K. time), the entire stock of about 100 bags at the Chimei Museum gift shop had sold out as of Friday, the museum told CNA.

The "Queen bag," as museum visitors call it, features a photo of Queen Elizabeth II, which was taken by Dorothy Wilding and hand-colored by Beatrice Johnson in 1952, the year the queen ascended to the throne, the museum said Saturday.

The bags were supplied by the National Portrait Gallery in London, which has loaned Chimei Museum most of the portraits of iconic British figures, including the queen, for the "Icons & Identities: Masterpieces of Portraiture" exhibition that is being held in Tainan until the end of February next year, according to the museum.

The museum said it has contacted the London gallery to ask about the supply of more "Queen bags," for the remaining duration of the exhibition.

Since the exhibition opened on Aug. 27, it has attracted some 7,000 visitors, according to Chimei Museum, which is holding the event to mark its 30th anniversary.

The most prominent displays at the exhibition are portraits of British kings and queens and current members of the royal family, including the newly named Princess of Wales, Catherine.

The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which was commissioned by the Jersey Heritage Trust, is displayed in the form of a hologram titled "Equanimity."

Other notable works include a portrait of playwright William Shakespeare, the first piece acquired by the London gallery when it was founded in 1856, and modern-day figures such the late South African President Nelson Mandela and former football star David Beckham.

The National Portrait Gallery in London, which loaned the museum 75 of the 89 works on display, is currently closed for renovation.

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