A black-and-white photograph showing ministers giving speeches at the official start of the demolition of the Zhengyang Gate (Zhengyangmen 正陽門), better known as the Front Gate (Qianmen 前門), in 1915. The gate was the main gateway between the Outer City (Waicheng 外城) and the Inner City (Neicheng 内城) of Beijing. Beijing’s main railway station stood parallel to the gate. The outline of its roof can be seen in the background.
The photograph is the 436th of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Demolieren des Tsien-Men: Die Minister halten Fest-Reden. (DZ, MV)