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China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 6 Life - Man­i­festo The Com­mu­nist Con­tact the writer at zhangkun@ chi­nadaily.com.cn qi­pao

sedan chair com­mis­sioned by a mer­chant from nearby Zhe­jiang prov­ince greets them in the lobby.

He hired 10 ex­pe­ri­enced wood carvers, who took 10 years to com­plete the piece. It fea­tures hun­dreds of tra­di­tional Chi­nese opera char­ac­ters ren­dered in wood, painted glass, lac­quer and em­broi­dery. It was then the show­piece of his Wuhua Leas­ing Shop for Wed­ding and Fu­neral Ar­ti­cles.

Many of the crafts­man­ship gen­res used to make the chair have been lost amid rapid mod­ern­iza­tion.

The ground floor ex­hi­bi­tion hall fea­tures a gi­ant LED screen as well as in­ter­ac­tive elec­tronic games that vis­i­tors can play to learn about Shang­hai’s past.

Two bronze lions cre­ated by Bri­tish artist Henry Poole oc­cupy the cen­tral space in front of the big screen. They were com­mis­sioned to adorn the Bund-fac­ing en­trance of the Hong Kong and Shang­hai Bank­ing Corp in 1923, when the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion opened its new Shang­hai of­fice. The crea­tures guarded the bank un­til 1966, when the Shang­hai His­tory Mu­seum added them to its col­lec­tion.

A 77-year-old vis­i­tor, who only gave his sur­name, Tang, re­calls see­ing the lions when he played on the Bund as a child.

“Every edge, crack and cor­ner on the lions is so fa­mil­iar to me,” he says.

“This is the mu­seum of our own city’s his­tory. Lots of tourists will come. We lo­cals should, too.”

The up­stairs area’s dis­plays chron­i­cle Shang­hai’s changes, start­ing with relics from 6,000 years ago. It fea­tures a can­non used in the first Opium War 9 am-5 pm, Tues­day ttooSunS­d­u­ayn.d3a2y5. 3N2a5n­jNi­nag­nRjion­agdRoad West, Huangp­pu­ud­di­s­istr­tircitc,t, Shang­haii.. 021-6323--22550044. (1840-42). Other dis­plays re­veal the de­vel­op­ment of art, cul­ture and in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion over the cen­turies. About four­fifths of the items are on pub­lic dis­play for the first time.

The west wing’s ex­hibits open with over 50 dis­plays about the for­mer mayor Chen, do­nated by his chil­dren.

“My father spent the hap­pi­est years of his ca­reer in Shang­hai,” his son Chen Dan­huai says.

On show are the pi­ano, desk, gramo­phone and other ob­jects Chen Yi and his wife, Zhang Qian, used dur­ing their stay in the city.

He later served as China’s for­eign min­is­ter. The dresses made by Shang­hai’s Hongx­i­ang Fash­ion Co that she wore for of­fi­cial over­seas vis­its are also dis­played.

The mu­seum is also host­ing two tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions that will run un­til June 24. One is about how

ig­nited the Chi­nese revo­lu­tion, while the other de­tails the his­tory of the mu­seum build­ings.

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