Na­tion’s mu­se­ums en­cour­aged to boost pro­mo­tional ef­forts

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - ByWANG KAIHAO wangkai­hao@chi­

The State Coun­cil is urg­ing mu­se­ums na­tion­wide to de­velop more orig­i­nal prod­ucts and busi­ness ideas to pro­mote their col­lec­tions.

“Pi­lot pro­grams will be in­tro­duced to State-owned mu­se­ums, art gal­leries and li­braries to achieve this goal through co­op­er­a­tion with and au­tho­riza­tion for dif­fer­ent par­ties,” said a state­ment is­sued on Wed­nes­day af­ter a State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing presided over by Premier Li Ke­qiang.

It­was­de­cided at the­meet­ing that more ex­per­tise should be tar­geted to pro­mot­ing and mar­ket­ing the coun­try’s mu­se­ums, along with devel­op­ment of more cre­ative sou­venirs and in­creased ef­forts to at­tract tourists.

“Their brand es­tab­lish­ment as well as pro­tec­tion and trade of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty will be en­hanced,” the state­ment said.

The mu­se­ums are also en­cour­aged to co­op­er­ate with pri­vate en­ter­prises to de­velop sou­venirs and other prod­ucts, and rev­enue thatis­gen­er­at­ed­should­beusedto pro­mote ser­vices or bet­ter pre­servecol­lec­tions.

Pan Shouy­ong, a muse­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor atMinzuUniver­sity of China, said: “It is important to su­per­vise how they dis­trib­ute the in­come. The money can be used for pro­tec­tion of cul­tural relics or to pro­mote ser­vices, but it can never be used for em­ployee bonuses.”

Pan said time es­tab­lish a new is needed to man­age­ment sys­tem for China’s mu­se­ums, and such a sys­tem must bal­ance the mu­se­ums’ busi­ness op­er­a­tionsand­pub­lic ser­vice func­tion.

Many West­ern mu­se­ums have de­vel­oped a myr­iad of cre­ative sou­venirs via sell­ing fran­chises and even charge for use of their space for such pur­poses as shoot­ing of films.

“Their experience tells us that dif­fer­ent kinds of cul­tural eventscan­be­held­in­mu­se­ums,” Pan said, in­clud­ing wed­dings. “But a mu­seum has to re­mem­ber that its pri­or­ity is public ser­vice, no mat­ter what com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity is un­der­taken.”

Some of the coun­try’s mu­se­ums have al­ready suc­cess­fully en­hanced busi­ness op­er­a­tions.

For in­stance, Beijing’s Palace Mu­seum, al­so­know­nas­theFor­bid­den City, an­nounced last mon­ththat its sales of sou­venirs last year sur­passed 1 bil­lion yuan ($154 mil­lion). Ac­cord­ing to Shan Jix­i­ang, the mu­seum di­rec­tor, the in­sti­tu­tion has de­vel­oped 6,754 cul­tural sou­venir prod­ucts.

How­ever, as more mu­se­ums ramp up their busi­ness op­er­a­tions, some prob­lems have arisen. On Sun­day, Nan­jing Mu­nic­i­palMu­se­u­minthe­cap­i­tal of Jiangsu prov­ince co­op­er­ated with a real es­tate de­vel­oper to hold a pro­mo­tional event at the mu­seum. The event stirred con­tro­versy, andthe­mu­se­umdi­rec­tor was sus­pended dur­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Their experience tells us that dif­fer­ent kinds of cul­tural events can be held in mu­se­ums.”

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