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Reliving history

Updated: 2018-06-26 07:30:05

( China Daily )

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Objects shown at the History of Museums exhibition include a bust of Gaius Caesar dated between first and fourth centuries. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The exhibition specially examines the introduction of modern museums in China.

In the past, the country had cultivated a culture of royal and private collections.

Chinese scholars and industrialists who traveled to Europe in the late 19th century understood the importance of a museum in public education and social progress, according to the exhibition, and therefore, constructing museums became an initiative for social reform in Chinese society.

One such pioneer was Zhang Jian (1853-1926), the entrepreneur who founded China's first public museum in Nantong, Jiangsu province, in 1905. Seals, coins and other antiques from the museum's storage are on show at the ongoing exhibition. The establishment of Nantong Museum bolstered museum building in Jiangsu, a financial and industrial center in Chinese history.

In 1928, China's first private art museum was founded in Jiangsu's Suzhou. In 1933, Nanjing Museum was constructed as the first government-sponsored comprehensive museum in the provincial capital, and three years later, the country's first national art museum, Jiangsu Art Museum, was opened to the public.

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