As­sault vic­tim was il­le­gal tour guide: Palace Mu­seum

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By SUN YUAN­QING sun­yuan­qing@ chi­

The Palace Mu­seum clar­i­fied ru­mors about a se­cu­rity guard beat­ing a tourist at the mu­seum in a state­ment is­sued on Wed­nes­day.

A video was posted on­line on Mon­day show­ing a man tus­sling with sev­eral se­cu­rity guards in the mu­seum square. The video was re­posted on sev­eral ma­jor video web­sites.

The mu­seum said in its state­ment that the man was an il­le­gal tour guide who has been sell­ing il­le­gal tours of the mu­seum for years with his sis­ter. The two have been pun­ished by the po­lice sev­eral times.

The Palace Mu­seum in the For­bid­den City re­ceives about 15 mil­lion vis­i­tors ev­ery year, draw­ing nu­mer­ous scalpers, il­le­gal tour guides and pam­phlet dis­trib­u­tors seek­ing money from vis­i­tors.

These ac­tiv­i­ties not only pose a safety risk to vis­i­tors and the mu­seum, but also dam­age the im­age of the city, the state­ment said.

Yu Ning, who vis­its the Palace Mu­seum four to five times a year, said she is very both­ered by the pam­phlet dis­trib­u­tors and il­le­gal tour guides both in and out of the For­bid­den City.

“As soon as I get near the palace, these people come up and bug me. They some­times even pull on me. It’s re­ally an­noy­ing. The mu­seum should take stronger mea­sures and at least ban them from the palace,” Yu said.

The Palace Mu­seum launched a cam­paign against il­le­gal ven­dors last year, evict­ing more than 14,000 il­le­gal pam­phlet dis­trib­u­tors and nearly 3,000 il­le­gal tour guides. More than 180,000 fliers and about 200 fake cer­tifi were con­fis­cated, and more than 600 people were handed over to the po­lice.

The mu­seum said in its state­ment that the il­le­gal ven­dors even threaten and beat se­cu­rity guards, as has hap­pened five times within the last three months. With­out law en­force­ment, the mu­seum is not able to get rid of the ven­dors by it­self, es­pe­cially when they are large in num­ber and move around all the time.

Shan Jix­i­ang, cu­ra­tor of the mu­seum, pro­posed es­tab­lish­ing a pro­fes­sional law en­force­ment team within the mu­seum. A mem­ber of the Chi­nese People’s Po­lit­i­cal Con­sul­ta­tive Con­fer­ence, Shan made the pro­posal dur­ing the an­nual ses­sion of the na­tional po­lit­i­cal ad­vi­sory body that ended on Wed­nes­day.

“Hav­ing a se­cu­rity team in­side the For­bid­den City will al­low us to cre­ate a safer and more or­derly ex­pe­ri­ence for the vis­i­tors,” Shan was quoted by China News Ser­vice as say­ing.

The Palace Mu­seum will work with the pub­lic se­cu­rity depart­ment to tighten se­cu­rity as the busy sea­son ap­proaches, the state­ment said.

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