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China’s new and improved National Museum reopens


Published on Mar 2, 2011

Attraction has tripled in size and now houses more than one million artefacts...

China’s National Museum reopened yesterday after undergoing a major three-year renovation and expansion project, Xinhua has reported. The Beijing attraction, located east of Tiananmen Square, has been expanded from 65,000m² to 191,900m², and now features 49 exhibition rooms displaying a collection of more than 1.05 million cultural artefacts. The exhibition halls include rooms specialising in each of the Earth’s continent for hosting international exhibitions, while other areas will be dedicated to ancient Chinese art, Buddhist statues, the furniture of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and calligraphy. In addition to the exhibition halls, a new 800-seat theatre, 300-seat conference hall and a 600m² studio area will be available for shows, digital fi lms and documentaries. “The museum will hold various functions. And, besides holding exhibitions, we will conduct archeological research, provide education services for the public and carry out cultural exchanges with other museums,” Xinhua reported a museum spokesperson as saying. Lv Zhang, the Director of the National Museum, added that the revamped facility has the capacity to receive 8-10 million visitors every year - approximately three times the number it welcomed prior to its expansion. The majority of exhibitions will be free to the public, although some special exhibitions will command an entrance fee. Chinese media have been quick to claim the reopened museum is the world’s largest, however its collection just over a million artefacts is only around a third of the number of items on display at The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Critics meanwhile, have said that the museum ignores sensitive subjects such as the Tiananmen Square protests and Mao Tse Tung’s ‘Great Leap Forward’. The CNY2.5 billion (US$380 million) renovation project started in March 2007.

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