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From Forbidden City to people's museum

China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-25 10:00

Tourists line up to visit the museum. [Photo by Chen Xiaogen/For China Daily]

In the past few years, the museum has expanded the existing exhibition space and built new facilities so that more of its 1.86 million collections could be seen by visitors.

"The museum has tried to stay relevant to contemporary visitors in every detail," said Ren Wanping, vice-curator of the museum.

Exhibitions are carefully organized to attract and resonate with the general public, instead of being too academic. Rarely used old characters are avoided in text introductions, while free audio guides and multimedia adopted to improve the visitor experience.

The public now has access to 80 percent of the total area of the museum and it will increase to 85 percent in 2025.

Zhang Jianhua, a 56-year-old retired Beijing resident and amateur photographer, paid 10 visits to the Palace Museum last year.

"I might visit more this year," she said. "The palaces and halls are in better shape than years ago and look prettier in pictures."

More chairs to rest in and places to eat within the walls also made her trips more comfortable. "Now I can spend the whole day inside, carrying only my camera and lenses," she said.

"The museum upholds the people-first concept," Ren said, referring to a number of new service facilities installed in recent years, such as cafes, bookshops, souvenir shops, bigger toilets and baby care rooms.

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