Beijing museums launch online activities to provide interactive experiences for visitors

By Shi Fang, People’s Daily;

BEIJING: Beijing has set the goal of “building a city of museums” and launched 94 theme activities to mark the 44th International Museum Day which was celebrated worldwide on May 18.

With 187 registered museums, Beijing has been immersed in a thick cultural atmosphere and become more attractive because of various forms of activities held by museums.

Many museums in Beijing have launched rich cloud activities during the celebrations of the International Museum Day this year, including online exhibitions and livestreaming shows.

“The livestreaming show is terrific. There should be more shows like this,” remarked a viewer, referring to the livestreaming show held on May 16 by Lao She Memorial Hall in Dongcheng district of Beijing. The one-hour live show was watched by over 3.32 million people online.

A total of ten memorial halls and former residences of celebrities in Beijing, including former residence of Soong Ching-ling and Beijing Lu Xun Museum, had launched livestreaming shows one after another from May 13 to 18 to give viewers guided “cloud tours” of former residences of famous people and help them understand the stories of these celebrities.

The Palace Museum has launched an online exhibition on the theme “Celebrating the Spring Festival in the Forbidden City”, while National Museum of China held a grand online exhibition featuring the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Some museums, such as the Zhoukoudian Site Museum, the Museum of Chinese Gardens and Landscape Architecture, Beijing Ancient Architecture Museum, and Beijing Dabaotai museum of Western Han tombs, have offered 360-degree panoramic view of the museums online. In addition, museums including China National Film Museum, Overseas Chinese History Museum of China, Beijing Confucian Temple and the Imperial College, and the Ancient Bell Museum in Dazhong Temple have launched livestreaming shows online, providing viewers with “one-on-one” guided tours of the museums. Museums in Beijing have based their activities on the two key words of “diversity” and “inclusiveness” to echo the International Museum Day’s theme this year, trying to provide personalized services for different people and explore the connection between museums and different groups. Capital Museum of China has launched an activity on the theme of “Me and Museum” to solicit works including videos, audio recordings, paintings, and photographs featuring people’s personal experiences of visiting museums to display in the museum and the museum’s special topic webpage for this year’s International Museum Day. Early in April, Beijing has launched online lectures to bring primary and secondary school students closer to the history, cultural heritage, and development of the city.

In these “cloud classrooms”, renowned experts and specialists in cultural relics and museum have been invited to give straightaway lessons on special subjects including the central axis, historical and cultural heritage, the Great Wall, and the Grand Canal in Beijing. Moreover, Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage has launched an online activity in cooperation with Beijing Walking Association during the celebrations of this year’s International Museum Day.

With the theme of “Understand Beijing while walking: the story between you and museums”, the activity encourages people to taste the charm of museums while walking in the city. The goal of “building a city of museums” is a fresh decision made by Beijing this year. According to Chen Mingjie, head of Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, through the efforts to build “a city of museums”, the city intends to enable its citizens and tourists to visit museums in the city anytime and anywhere they want to taste the glamour of culture in museums.

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