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First Shanghai Private Folk Art Museum Closed
The first private folk art museum in east China's Shanghai city has closed because the museum buildings will be demolished to make way for road construction and real estate development.

Shanghai Er Dongqiang Arts Center, established in 1990 in Minzhu Village of Qingpu District, was the first private museum to appear in Shanghai since China adopted the reform and opening-up policy two decades ago.

Er Dongqiang, a former press photographer and founder of the museum, collected about 20,000 items of folk art while touring towns and villages in east China 20 years ago.

Er's collection includes traditional Chinese steles, couplets, furniture, a watermill, a fishing boat, embroidery, woodcarving and jewelry, which epitomize real life in east China in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties.

Er Dongqiang has not found an appropriate place to store his folk-arts collections so far.

Chen Ruijing, curator of Folk Art Museum of Suzhou City in east China's Jiangsu Province, which is very near to Shanghai, said Er's valuable collection could be stored in Suzhou Folk Art Museum.

Er Dongqiang has so far not accepted Chen's offer and is exploring other options.

The exhibits in the museum have attracted large number of domestic and overseas visitors, including experts and scholars studying Chinese folk art and customs.

In recent years, many houses in Minzhu Village have been contracted to real estate developers and the museum building was also to be demolished soon.

(Xinhua News Agency July 14, 2003)

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