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China's Privately-run Museums Seek Sustainable Developments
   2014-06-12 09:15:19    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Luo Chun

Zhu Shuxi, Chairman of Chengdu municipal Museum Association, delievered a speech at the China's Private-run Museum Forum on Tuesday (June 10th) at Huanglongxi, a historic town in Chengdu of southwest China's Sichuan province. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

By Shen Siling

China has a long history of artwork collections. In recent years, the number of China's privately-run museums has increased rapidly. According to the statistics up to the end of last year, China has 811 registered privately-run museums, accounting for 19 percent of the total museums in China. How to survive is the key question for these privately-run museums.

"At the beginning, it's just a hobby. We prefer to collect Imperial Edicts, and we would like to appreciate the paintings and calligraphy works on the Imperial Edicts with other collectors. "

Zhou Qingming, director of Zhengzhou Imperial Edicts Museum, said that, on a very special occasion, a government official knew about this and suggested that he share the artwork he has by opening his own privately-run museum.

Zhou is one of the over 100 privately-run museum directors from all over China that gather and share their experiences at China's Privately-run Museum Forum on Tuesday (June 10th) at Huanglongxi, a historic town in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan province.

Most collection aficionados and directors of privately-run museums have an entrepreneurial spirit. They have a great deal of enthusiasm in setting up a museum, optimizing the enterprise culture, building a "brand" of sorts and they give back to society in the name of charity. As museums are losing their popularity to a degree, privately-run museums are trying to survive.

Wang Yan is the Director of the Shanxi Merchant Museum.

"I suggested an idea; combine the ancient architecture with a museum. For example, we have an ancient yard from the Ming Dynasty -- it is already an artwork - then we put our collections in the museum to give it an ancient feel."

Wang said that he won support from the government when he proposed that the museum would have tourist attractions and be similar to an ancient town.

Xie Hui, deputy director of Chengdu's Cultural Bureau, explains how the municipal government helps to improve the difficult situations for privately-run museums.

"We have a ten-year plan for the development of privately-run museums and, secondly, we also give economic support to these facilities, since we invest about 20 million yuan every year into these privately-run museums. And at the same time, we require them to normalize their management."

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