The National Museum of China
The National Museum of China (NMC) is a universal museum with a primary focus on history and art that systematically presents the long-standing culture and history of the Chinese nation and global civilization. Established on 28 February 2003, the National Museum of China was created following the merger of two former museums – the Museum of Chinese History and the Museum of Chinese Revolution. It is under the control of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China.
The Museum of Chinese History had its origins in the Preliminary Office of the National History Museum, which was founded in 1912. The predecessor of the Museum of Chinese Revolution was the Preliminary Office of the National Museum of the Revolution, established in 1950. The building housing these two museums, located on the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, was completed and officially opened to the public in 1959.
Through archaeological excavations, collections, research work and exhibitions, the NMC systematically exhibits the treasured antiquities of China that reflect ancient, pre-modern, modern and contemporary Chinese history and culture. The museum’s permanent and special exhibitions display Chinese history, art and culture and introduce its splendid civilization to visitors from China and abroad. To offer visitors even more valuable knowledge and further expand the exhibition spectrum of Chinese museums, the NMC also places great emphasis on research in the areas of history, archaeology, ancient manuscripts and museology.
From March 2007 to late 2010, the NMC has been undergoing renovation and enlargement. Today, the new NMC building boasts a total floor area of 192,000 square metres, 49 galleries offering 65,000 square metres of exhibition space, and a collection of more than one million exhibits. In addition to the two permanent exhibitions, Ancient China and The Road to Rejuvenation, which reflect on China’s ancient, pre-modern and contemporary history, the newly opened NMC holds special exhibitions focusing on China’s ancient cultural treasures such as antique sculptures, porcelain, jade articles, clothing and jewellery, paintings and calligraphy, coins and furniture, and stages special art exhibitions on modern themes. The new NMC building also features four international galleries – the Asian, African, European and American galleries – in which annual exhibitions present collections from museums from all over the world with a view to introducing Chinese visitors to the diversity of the world’s cultures, absorbing the successes of the civilizations of all the earth’s countries and enriching the cultural intentions of the Chinese nation.