Museums around China will take part in International Museum Day on Monday, May 18.
Young visitors receive a guided tour of Chengdu's new Sichuan Provincial Museum. Photo by Leo Chen.
As part of the event, the newly opened Sichuan Provincial Museum will remain open, although it is normally closed on Mondays. Entrance is free to the first 4,000 people each day. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Sichuan Museum of Science & Technology also announced that it is holding a 5.12 photo exhibit until May 31. Entrance is free. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
In addition to these, holders of the Panda Gold Card can access 11 additional popular sites free of charge, including the Jinsha Museum, Wuhou Temple, Dufu's Cottage, the Yongling Mausoleum, and the Panda Breeding Research Base.
CCTV's Science and Education channel (Channel 10) will spotlight the event with a special live broadcast featuring the country's new museums, including China's first underwater museum, which allows visitors to view the Baiheliang Ancient Hydrological Inscription, a series of 1,200-year-old stone carvings that were submerged six years ago by the Three Gorges dam project. Construction on the museum began in 2002, and today its doors open to its first visitors.
The theme of this year's International Museum Day is "Museums and Tourism." Past themes have included "Universal Heritage" and "Social Change and Development."
The International Council of Museums launched International Museum Day in 1977 to encourage awareness about the role of museums in the development of society. More than 20,000 museums in 90 countries participated in last year's International Museum Day.