Former Shanghai home of Mao Zedong reopens

Over the two years of renovation, illegal structures built at the entrance were pulled down and the facade was restored based on historical archives. 
Dong Jun / SHINE

Visitors form a long line yesterday to visit a former Shanghai residence of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong on its first day of reopening.

A Shanghai home of Mao Zedong, where China's former leader spent his longest time in the city, attracted nearly 200 visitors within two hours when the building reopened to the public on Tuesday after a two-year renovation.

Kang Jinhua, 90, was among the first visitors to the two-story house at Lane 120 Maoming Road N., part of a shikumen community called Jiaxiuli built in 1915. 

“The first time I visited this house was about 10 years ago. But today I found it has been changed a lot,” he said. “The walls were repainted, showing a nostalgic ambience. And there are many new exhibits telling the history not familiar to me.”

Mao spent six months, from June to December 1924 living with his family on the first floor at 7 Jiaxiuli. 

The building, listed as a protected relic, first opened to the public in December 1999 as a memorial to Mao. It was closed in 2015 for renovation.

Over the two years of renovation, illegal structures built at the entrance were pulled down and the facade was restored based on historical archives. Traditional shikumen elements were restored, including wood shutters and carved stone lintels.

“We managed to obtain the photos of Jiaxiuli taken in 1947 and 1948,” said Zhang Zhong, deputy director of Jing’an Cultural Bureau. “Local architect Qiao Shuqi in 1960 studied the house. He offered his drawings to us for reference.”

Also, the interior layout was upgraded, adding new exhibits.

Dong Jun / SHINE

A figure of Mao Zedong representing him working at his desk

Dong Jun / SHINE

A representation of Mao's first wife Yang Kaihui taking care of their two sons Mao Anying (sitting on her lap) and Mao Anqing.

Figures of Mao, his first wife Yang Kaihui, and their two sons Mao Anying and Mao Anqing were made and set in scenes such as Mao working at his desk and Yang taking care of the boys in a bedroom.

The reopened memorial has a huge screen, which stores 11 video clips showing Mao’s 11 visits to Shanghai between 1919 and 1926. Visitors can choose to watch the clips by touching a small screen in front of it.

New exhibits also include copies of Mao’s correspondence, the sofa that he sat in during his visit to the former Shanghai Electrical Machinery Factory in 1961, and a set of Mao suits that he sent to his security guard Gao Zhi.

The memorial opens from 9 to 11:30am, and 1 to 4:30pm, every day from Tuesday to Sunday, free of charge. Visitors are advised to dial 6272-3656 to make a reservation in advance.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Jiaxiuli


Special Reports
Top