A new beginning for The Great World

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Comprising three four-story buildings and two wings, The Great World had for decades been a prominent landmark in Shanghai. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Shanghai's oldest indoor amusement park Dashijie, or The Great World, will be reopening in late March, more than a decade since it closed down due to poor management.

However, the venue-it used to be the largest of its kind in the city-will not reprise its role as an amusement park but as a venue that showcases intangible cultural heritage from around the world.

"Shanghai has no lack of places for fun or amusement today. The mission of The Great World has now taken on a new significance," said Xie Jun, the spokeswoman of the park, which is now under the charge of the Huangpu district government.

Comprising three four-story buildings and two wings, the park had for decades been a prominent landmark in Shanghai because of its iconic multi-layered hexagon tower that features 12 yellow pillars. The venue was so famous that tourists would often say that a trip to Shanghai wasn't complete until one had visited The Great World.

Historical records show that the park's average daily visitorship in the 1950s, the period following decades of war and instability, was 10,000 people. During the Spring Festival of 1955, the number of visitors peaked at 40,000 a day.

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