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March 26, 2019

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Architect’s memorabilia highlight of exhibition

The Shanghai History Museum unveiled a number of new donations yesterday, including photos and equipment that belonged to Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec.

These new items are on display in the main hall of the museum on Nanjing Road W., as part of the celebrations of the first anniversary of the new site.

Other key exhibits include a dagger that was once the property of a Flying Tigers pilot, a medal from the 1949 Yangtze River Crossing Campaign, a 1949 certificate of a Xinhua news agency journalist and memorabilia of Chinese Basketball Association President Yao Ming.

Hudec was involved in 54 projects, including the Park Hotel and the Grand Theatre, during his 29 years in Shanghai. The new exhibit features more than 20 photos, household articles, a paperweight, scissors and other tools that Hudec once used. The pieces were collected in Canada, the United States and Budapest.

Other items on display include Hudec family photos, documents of his education in the Technical University of Budapest, along with photos of his military service and his life as a prisoner of war during WWI.

“It is our greatest hope that this generous donation by the Hudec family is going to be the foundation of a new, Shanghai-based archive,” said Virag Csejdy, director of the Hudec Cultural Foundation and great-grand niece of Hudec.

Along with exhibits of obvious historical significance, a set of account books belonging to an ordinary local family also went on show.

The 29 account books were kept by certified public accountant Chen Qingyang between 1947 and 2017. His record of every daily income and expense of his family is a valuable chronicle of economic and social development.

“One of the last wishes of my father was that these accounts would be donated to a museum and become a reference for social and economic research,” said his son Chen Huiliang.

Since its opening in March 2018, the museum has received 536 donations. Some 1.5 million people visited the museum in its first year.

Donations of historic archives, photos or other items related to Shanghai’s development since the opening of the port in 1843 are welcomed, including newspapers, books, letters, photos, signboards, coins, stamps, clothing, furniture, tools, or other equipment.


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