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West Lake Museum to Open in Autumn

The West Lake Museum in the historic east China city of Hangzhou, the first of its kind in China, is expected to open in October, said a Hangzhou-based newspaper.

Local Commercial Daily said construction of the museum, which will display West Lake's history and culture, has been completed recently, and about 200 pieces of rare cultural relics and more than 2,000 documents concerning the lake have been collected by the museum.

The newspaper said that in 2005 the municipal government of Hangzhou plans to invest 150 million yuan (US$18 million) on protecting its plentiful historical relics, and establishing the West Lake Museum is regarded a new way for the city to strengthen the protection.

Hangzhou, capital city of the Zhejiang Province in southeastern China's coast, was one of China's famous seven ancient capitals. It has a history of more than 2,200 years since the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.) when the county system was established.

Hangzhou's fame rests mainly on the picturesque West Lake on its western fringe. With an area of about six square kilometers, West Lake is surrounded by three isles -- Lesser Yingzhou, Mid-lake Pavilion and Ruangong Isle and is one of China's leading scenic attractions.

(Xinhua News Agency March 7, 2005)

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