China Art Museum to open at Expo site

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After 10 months of renovation, China Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo will reopen to the public on October 1 as the China Art Museum.

The museum will have five themed exhibitions as the Shanghai government works to expand the cultural influence of the World Expo on the city. The former Shanghai Art Museum, located in an old horse-racing club on Nanjing Road, will move to the China Art Museum.

"The China Art Museum will focus on collections, exhibition, communication, survey and education," Zong Ming, a deputy head of the publicity department of the Party's Shanghai committee, said. "It will become another iconic cultural venue in the city."

The new museum has 27 halls extending about 64,000 square meters.

The China Pavilion received nearly 17 million visitors during the 2010 World Expo. No figures on the cost of the project were released at yesterday's press conference.

Currently, the China Art Museum owns around 14,000 pieces of art through donation and purchase. The three levels of the exhibition hall will showcase the history and development of modern art in Shanghai and China.

The money for running the museum comes from three sources: government fund, donations and the business operation of the museum itself, including restaurant and theater operations. The museum also has plans for free seminars and art training.

A similar strategy is being adopted for the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, China's first government-supported contemporary art museum. It will also open on October 1 with the launch of the Shanghai Biennale. The museum is in the former Urban Future Pavilion.

"We expect a total of 3 million visitors to the two museums annually," Zong said.

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