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Shaanxi Rd to get makeover

The downtown Jing'an District will renovate the historic buildings on Shaanxi Road N. to improve their attraction for Expo visitors.

As many as 19 historic buildings - including the Ohel Rachel Synagogue and Taiping Garden - will get face-lifts in the next four months at a cost of 9 million yuan (US$1.3 million), the Jing'an cultural relics management bureau said yesterday.

"Culture is embodied in these historic buildings," said Yang Jiguang, curator of the Jing'an Cultural and Historical Museum.

The modern electronic gates at the Ohel Rachel Synagogue will be removed.

Taiping Garden - a residential community that housed many Jewish immigrants last century - will get a face-lift with the exterior walls cleaned and period lights installed at the gates.

Another site, Zhang Yuan, will be turned into a museum, displaying old furniture and household goods and photos and videos portraying historic events in the area.

The district also plans to instal a brass plaque in front of the Plaza 66, at the intersection of Shaanxi Road N. and Nanjing Road W., outlining the historic buildings.

The Jing'an cultural relics management bureau took the opportunity of the weekend's culture heritage day to get public feedback about the project, with 500 locals filling in questionnaires at the Majestic Theatre.

"Nowadays businesses take over historic buildings after renovations and that's why I do not like Xintiandi," said local resident Sun Yan.

More than 190,000 residents took advantage of the cultural heritage day by visiting historic buildings and museums for free at the weekend, the Shanghai Culture Relics Management Commission said.


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