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World Expo Museum

Jun 1, 2017

The Shanghai Municipal Government’s Information Office held a press conference on April 25 on details of the World Expo Museum. The following are the highlights:

Liu Xiuhua, curator, World Expo Museum
Chu Xiaobo, deputy director, Shanghai Culture, Radio Broadcasting, Film and Television Administration

Shanghai Daily: Will the World Expo Museum’s exhibits and exhibitions plus its reservation system have an English language option for foreign visitors?

Liu Xiuhua: During the early opening period of the museum in May and June, we will require online reservations to ensure a safe, orderly and comfortable experience for visitors. We will limit the number of visitors to 4,000 a day. We are still developing the English system for the museum and the English option will be available by July. We will have staff capable of English language services on the site and if foreigners come, we will offer guide service to them at the venue. The World Expo Museum requires prior reservation. But if some people arrive at the museum without reservation or/and, in the case of seniors, who don’t know how to make online reservation, will these people be allowed to enter?

Liu Xiuhua: People can make online reservations from 7 days in advance to before 4pm on the day of the visit. People arriving at the museum without reservations will be required to make on-site reservations with the help of museum staff before being allowed to enter. Seniors or people with mobility-difficulties will be assisted by museum employees during their visit to the venue and will be given personalized green-channel service.

SMG: The World Expo 2010 has many well-known exhibits, including the digital dynamic edition of Along the River During the Qingming Festival by Song Dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan (1085–1145) and the ring screen film at the Saudi pavilion. Will these exhibits be further displayed at the museum? The museum has been doing stress tests in recent days and it will take quite a while to complete the tour of all exhibits. Will there be some improvements afterwards?

Liu Xiuhua: There are about 3,000 exhibits at the eight permanent exhibition halls and many of them are donations from the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, Yeosu Expo in 2012 in South Korea and Milan Expo in 2015 in Italy. These donations represent different Expo participants’ understanding of World Expo Shanghai 2010’s theme as well as a variety of beautiful exhibits.

One of the eight exhibition halls will display the dynamic multimedia exhibition of the full-scale World Expo 2010 scenes in the style of the China Pavilion’s dynamic edition of ancient painting. We expect you to have an experience of this exhibition.

The ideal and comfortable time to tour the whole of our exhibitions is 90 minutes and we have added seats at multimedia exhibition areas for visitors to rest, following suggestions from participants in the stress tests. We have also improved other sections, including outdoor areas, to make the audience’s experience much better and more comfortable.

Wenhui Daily: The press release mentions that the museum will strive to become an international world expo academic center and exchange platform. What detailed plans do you have? How does the BIE tie in with this plan?

Liu Xiuhua: As mentioned in the press release, the museum will be the BIE’s only official museum and document research center. We have also been expanding the data of documents and making them more valuable. As of now, we are the collection center which has relatively complete documents and files in the history of world expos. These documents and files are in a wider variety and relatively more languages. For example, we not only collect hardcopies of books, but also preserve history documents and files in digital form. Our digital document collection spans from 1819 to now. We have about 2,000 digital copies of books, about 200,000 images and more than 3,000 minutes of historical video materials. This will be a rich mine for academic and exhibition activities. Besides, we hope to cooperate with the BIE to build an international online platform for world expo researchers. We want to cooperate with the BIE to promote the founding of an authoritative and professional training and education center for future world expos. We also hope to use these platforms to provide some theoretical and practical training to organizers, bidders or participants of future world expos.

As a museum, we also have a themed world expo library, which will open to the audience in the future. We will also use the world expo lectures, world expo youth activity centers and a set of different academic and social education activities to promote world expo knowledge, experiences and ideals of world expos as well as social education and culture exchange activities relevant to world expos.

Xinmin Evening News: What about the founding of the world expo museum council? How is the division of labor there?

Chu Xiaobo: The council system for a museum is a relative mature practice in the world. Museums in China are also actively innovating the system to adopt such practices. The World Expo Museum is an entity jointly built by the Shanghai Municipal Government and the BIE so we think founding a council for this museum is inevitable. This museum is different from other traditional museums and needs more and better advice from international organizations and experts on its future development such as promotions. We (the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film & TV and the Shanghai Culture Heritage Administration) are the administrator of the museum and our management of the museum is focused on the culture industry administration. However, the museum’s detailed business will rely more on the council in seeking, integrating, planning and using resources. We are still discussing whether a special foundation should be set up for the museum since the procedure for founding funds and foundations is very complicated. But forming a council for the museum has relevant legal basis since China has enacted a regulation on museums in 2015 and it says that a museum should have a complete council system. This year, we will also discuss the details of founding the council for the museum with the secretary general of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Vicente Loscertales in Shanghai in May. After the museum is open to the public, the preparation for founding the council will kick off.