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New building work to start for museum

CONSTRUCTION will begin on the new Natural History Museum in downtown Jing'an District by June. It will take two to three years to build.

The museum, part of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, is one of the key science promotion projects of 2009, officials said yesterday.

The new museum will replace the existing Natural History Museum, which opened in 1956 and moved to its current location on Yan'an Road E. in 1958. It is one of the nation's largest museums of natural sciences, but hasn't received major decoration or renovation since the 1950s.

"There have been comments in recent years that the museum is old-fashioned and visitor numbers have fallen," said Li Jun, an official from Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. "Its poor facilities and environment have caused problems in displaying many precious specimens, which have had to be put into storage for their protection."

Li said the city government intends to "bring visitors a complete new and modern natural science museum, which is expected to become an ideal place for children to learn and people to have a good time."

By the end of 2008, the city had 132 popular science venues occupying 1.2 million square meters.

More projects are on the agenda, including the Shanghai Technical Development Exhibition Hall, the Museum of Chinese Martial Arts and the Shanghai Anti-drug Museum.

The Shanghai International Science and Art Exhibition will be held from May 15 to 20 at Shanghai Pudong Expo. The event will be free of charge. People can get tickets at the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology at 47 Nanchang Road from May 4.


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