126 museums to open free on weekends

Over 100 local museums will mark International Museum Day on Saturday by offering free admissions and over 200 cultural events.

Over 100 local museums will mark International Museum Day on Saturday by offering free admission and over 200 events.

The 126 museums taking part include popular attractions such as Shanghai Auto Museum, Shanghai Museum of Glass and China Maritime Museum. Most of them will open for free over the weekend.

The former residences or memorials of Party leaders and cultural celebrities such as educator Huang Yanpei (1878-1965), painter Wu Changshuo (1844-1927) and journalist Zou Taofen (1895-1944) will not charge visitors over the weekend.

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Shanghai Natural History Museum, the Guanfu Museum and Shanghai Film Museum will offer half-price tickets on Saturday and Sunday. Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum in Hongkou District will offer 50-percent discounts on Saturday.

International Museum Day was established in 1977 to raise awareness of the fact that “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples,” according to International Council of Museums, the organizer of the event.

Last year, more than 37,000 museums participated in the event in about 158 countries and territories.

This year’s theme is “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition.” The theme will focus on the new roles of museums as active actors in their communities, according to the council.

The Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism has publicized the list of museums offering free admission on its official website —whlyj.sh.gov.cn (only in Chinese) — along with telephone numbers of the museums.

Visitors are advised to contact the museums to check whether large numbers are expected before heading to the museums.

To cope with the expected rise in visitors, many museums will stay open until 9pm on Saturday.

The museums will hold 220 special activities for the Museum Day this year.

The Shanghai Museum, for instance, will invite young experts to guide visitors and families to tour around various special exhibitions on Friday.

The China Maritime Museum invites children to take part in naval and scientific themed events or make models at the museum through June 30.

The Shanghai Telecom Museum will relive the early working conditions of the city's telecom bureau workers, while the Shanghai Insect Museum will invite visitors to make butterflies greeting cards.

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