Museum impresses early visitors

About 6,200 people visited Shanghai History Museum when it opened to the public in the former Shanghai Race Club building.
Museum impresses early visitors
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Visitors admire Stephen, one of the two bronze lions at Shanghai History Museum yesterday. While Stephen roars, his partner Stitt sits quietly. They were brought from the UK in 1923 for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation building. 

SHANGHAI History Museum, which has found its permanent home in the former Shanghai Race Club building, opened to the public yesterday and welcomed around 6,200 visitors.

The museum has more than 1,000 items tracing the political, social, cultural and commercial evolution of Shanghai from 4000 BC.

Zhang Beifen, a 63-year-old Shanghai local, was first in the queue at the museum next to People’s Park at around 6am.

By 9am when the museum opened, there were about 300 people waiting in line.

Zhang, a retired worker, said she had walked for 40 minutes from her home near Yuyuan Garden to the museum because there was no bus available when she set out.

She was pleased with what she saw. “I once visited the old history museum on Yan’an Road in the 1970s when I was in middle school, but the exhibition here is much more profound,” she said.

Yang Wensheng, a retiree living in the Pudong New Area, said he had learned a lot more about his city.

“This museum has a lot that we residents can relate to through the modern part of the exhibition, with the presentation of people’s daily lives and evolution of some landmarks,” he said.

Sofiene Gomri, a tourist from France, discovered the museum as he was passing by and was especially impressed by its interactive features which he said make the museum different from those in France.

“Shanghai is too modern, and I think it needs more places like this for people to learn about its history,” he said.

Another tourist, Nancy Smith from the United States, also happened on the museum by chance.

“There was a long line but I got in after only 25 minutes, while my husband didn’t wait with me fearing that it would take too long,” she said.

She said she enjoyed the museum a lot, but would love it if the interactive devices could have English versions.

Forty volunteers were at work on the first day to guide visitors and offer tours. Aural guides were also available in Chinese, English and Shanghainese.

Opening hours are from 9am to 5pm, with last admissions at 4pm. Admission is free.

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