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Private Museum Heat in Shanxi's Pingyao

BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhuanet) - A private museum fever has developed currently in the ancient city of Pingyao, Shanxi Province, according to Except the China Money Exchange Museum, "Rishengchang", which is a State-owned museum, and the Pingyao County Government Museum which is under the joint stock system, all other museums are established with individual investment.

Located at center of Shanxi province to the southwest of Taiyuan Basin and the middle reaches of the Fenhe River, Pingyao is an extant, well-preserved model of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It is a large complex of ancient buildings, composed of city walls, streets and lanes, stores, temples and residences. Ming-Qing Street in the city has become a major landscape tourists to Pingyao must visit. This several-hundred-meter-long street is flanked by 20-30 private museums reflecting the commercial and popular cultures of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

As sources say, the Pingyao county government has adopted a series of preferential policies to encourage collectors to establish museums in Ming-Qing Street. This has led to the mushrooming of private museums, which cover things in regard to money exchanges, shops, pawns, escort-providing establishments in ancient times, residences, inns, lacquer-ware, family property, niche, queer stones, portraits of emperors of past dynasties, the town gods temples and former residences for celebrities.

It is reported that the museum buildings maintain the original Ming and Qing features. The furnishings there were patterned on the traditions of 17th-19th Century. Almost all things the Han people needed in their daily life£º food, clothing, housing and transport, can be found here. Tourists can get a detailed knowledge about the commercial culture and the traditional culture of the Hans in the Ming and Qing dynasties in the museums concerning money exchange, shops, pawns and escort-providing establishments.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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