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Sex Museum Moves to Tongli

The unique "Ancient Chinese Sex Culture Museum" will move from its current location -- at the junction of Wuding Road and Wuning Road S. in Shanghai -- to Tongli in Jiangsu Province in April next year because of declining profits and its little-known location, the museum's curator said yesterday.


The Tongli government's US$1 million support means curator Liu Dalin will reopen the museum on April 18 at a century-old girls school in the watertown, which is some 80 kilometers from Shanghai.


Admission will be 10 yuan (US$1.2) to 15 yuan, about half of the current price, said Liu, who opened China's only sex culture museum in 1995. The profits will be shared by Liu and the Tongli government.


The 71-year-old curator said the number of visitors to the city museum was far below his expectations.


"Only around 30 people visit every day, which can hardly make our ends meet," said Liu. "Since 70 percent of our visitors come from overseas, our business sharply declined during SARS."


Liu requires a minimal profit of 50,000 yuan per month to maintain the museum, but he takes in around 20,000 yuan.


With seven staff workers, the museum has been kept afloat amid a tumultuous history, which has so far seen three location changes.


Using his own money for 1,700 assorted pictures and carvings of couples engaged in various sexual positions, Liu opened the museum in suburban Qingpu District in 1995, where it stayed for four years despite lack of visitors.


Hoping to attract larger crowds, he moved his exhibits to a building on the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall in 1999.


But owners of the building wouldn't let Liu put up a sign for his museum due to concern over use of the word "sex."


No sign meant no visitors, forcing Liu to find a new home in 2001 -- the current location.


"I am just trying to transform the Western stereotype of Chinese as people who are illiterate about sex," said Liu.


(Eastday.com September 11, 2003)

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