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In , more than 20, exhibitions took place in these museums, with about million visits recorded. It runs until 21 October This article was originally produced and published by China Daily.

Why China Has Hundreds Of Empty 'Ghost' Museums

View the original article at www. My details. My newsletters. Upgrade to Premium. Photos: IC. What used to be stern and cold institutions have moved closer to people's lives in order to attract more visitors. In , the total number of visitors to museums in the Chinese mainland exceeded 10 million visitors, while in alone more than 17 million visitors traveled to the Palace Museum in Beijing, making it one of the most visited museums in the world.

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At the capital's National Museum of China, more than 3 million people visited a major exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, while the number of views for the online exhibition exceeded Since free access to public museums was set as a goal by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, service efficiency and social attention has continuously improved as museums across China began to explore new management models including expanding exhibition areas, launching more exhibitions, starting museum education programs and promoting the creative development and transformation of museum resources.

Taking it with you The development of cultural and creative products has allowed visitors to bring museum culture home with them so they can appreciate the beauty of traditional culture in their daily lives.

New regulations launched by the Beijing government have allowed cultural relic institutions to reward the developers of these creative products with 70 percent or more of revenue earned. While there are no official figure as to how many empty museums China has, independent researchers have put the number in the thousands. The reason for these empty museums isn't because the Chinese have a particular hankering for blank white walls and barren hallways, but because of the peculiar nuances of China's development model.

The effect is something akin to a Ponzi scheme: new cities and districts must be created to fund existing cities and districts. So with hardly enough in the coffers to run their cities as it is, how are municipalities able to afford their extremely costly but starkly unprofitable new cultural showpieces?

Forbidden City, Beijing, China in 4K (Ultra HD)

According to Johnson, what has fueled China's museum building boom has been a strategy where a local government will grant a developer a prime parcel of commercial construction land on the contingency that they also build and operate a museum or an opera house, library, etc. In this way, a city can obtain their iconic public buildings while having someone else pick up the tab. However, as is often the case in China, once the construction is finished the real development begins. After receiving accolades for building a world-class landmark, the developers often find themselves in more unfamiliar territory: actually running a museum.

While the exteriors of China's museums and other cultural buildings are often well thought-out with no expense spared, what is actually done on the inside often comes as an afterthought—if that.

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So many of China's shiny new, postcard-worthy museums often end up sitting empty for years after they are constructed. A reporter for the Economist likened visiting them to "walking into an empty Olympic swimming pool. However, there is another reasons for the lack of exhibits in many of China's new museums. When countries go through tumultuous times, art and precious cultural artifacts are among the first things to be destroyed, sold, or smuggled, and China was one of the most tumultuous places in the world throughout the 20th century.

Throughout this time, much of China's cultural riches became collateral damage in war, were wantonly destroyed during the Cultural Revolution , or taken out of the country, where they now fill museums in places like Taipei, London, and Washington DC. China's empty museums are not just a conspicuous paradox of modern development, but a national embarrassment — a scar across the face of the oldest civilization in history that no longer has much to show for itself.

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I'm a perpetually traveling writer who focuses on new cities ghost cities , the New Silk Road, and international e-commerce as seen from the ground. I am the author of Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin The museum looked like a colossal golden jelly bean. Ordos Museum Getty Getty.

Beijing Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

Ordos Library Getty Getty. Henan Art Center Getty Getty.

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