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Beijing to become ‘city of museums’ and national cultural centre

palace museum beijing

Beijing is set to become a ‘city of museums’ as part of a plan to upgrade its historic sites and transform the city into a national cultural centre.

The plan, which was released in April, is entitled: ‘Beijing to promote the construction of the national cultural center in the medium and long-term (2019-2035)’.

According to China Now, the plan asks: ‘What sort of capital are we are looking for? How do we build this capital?’

It aims to transform the capital’s culture by creating a cultural centre, with distinctive features, plenty of exhibits and cultural resources (via China Daily).

Exhibits and cultural resources in Beijing

Construction of the national cultural centre will consist of the ‘four cultures’ – ancient capital culture, red culture, Beijing culture and innovation culture.

According to Chen Mingjie, director of the Beijing Administration of Cultural Heritage, building a ‘city of museums’ is an element of Beijing’s ambitions to become a cultural centre.

An Laishun, vice-president of the International Council of Museums, said Beijing needs to upgrade a number of museums to create a more diverse and balanced museum system.

In addition, there will be new cultural and leisure spaces for art performances and interactive experiences in the city’s urban development areas.

Beijing to feature smart attractions and app

The plan will also focus on creating smart cities, smart scenic spots, smart hotels and smart rural tourism. This is part of the development and promotion of a ‘one-click tour of Beijing’ mobile app.

Beijing will promote online arts and culture, and the city aims to build digital libraries, digital cultural venues and digital museums for every district by 2035.

There are 187 registered museums in Beijing. Nearly 40 of these museums have reopened since May 1, following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Palace Museum, which also reopened in Beijing on May 1, recently adjusted its daily limit to 8,000 visitors. It has implemented a series of health and safety measures.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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