China's National Museum, to the east of Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing, has reopened to the public after nearly four years of renovations. Our reporter, Ma Shuo, went to the museum on opening day to see how the museum's various exhibitions were received by the public.
China's National Museum, to the east of Tian'anmen Square in central Beijing, has reopened to the public after nearly four years of renovations.
The Chen's are among the lucky eight thousand visitors allowed in on the museum's first day. They said they were impressed.
Wu Yifang, Visitor, said, "We've visited many museums around the world, including the Louvre and New York's Metropolitan. I think this museum boasts a unique range of collections. We queued for about an hour and the flow of visitors was well organized."
Some visitors queued for even longer before they finally made it into the building. But they say it was worthwhile.
Qu Meina, Visitor, said, "I came to Beijing for sightseeing and it happened that the museum opens today. So I queued for three hours and was surprised the ticket is free. It's a memorable stop on my tour of Beijing."
The museum complex, originally occupied by the Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of Chinese Revolution, first opened to the public in 1959.
The National Museum of China was established in 2003, following the merger of the two museums.
Renovations cost 2.5 billion yuan, or about 367 million US dollars. The museum has a floor space of nearly two hundred thousand square meters, and more than one million items in its permanent collection.
The precious and rare Chinese historical artifacts stored here cannot be found in any other museums in China and around the world.
Dong Qi, Deputy Curator of National Museum of China, said, "There's a saying that the National Museum of China is Chinese people's ancestral temple. Why is that? Because the museum displays the history and civilization Chinese people created, from the earliest trace of human existence through different dynasties right up to the present."
(CCTV.com March 29, 2011)