Museum directors add culture to congress agenda

2008-03-04 23:42:09 Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 5 -- They are relatively less well-known among CPPCC members. Within their own circles, however, they are highly regarded and extremely influential.

They are the country's museum directors -- the people who help shape the cultural landscape and connect us with history.

Interviewed during a group discussion yesterday, three directors talk about the various initiatives their museums have taken in enhancing collections, improving services and bringing back lost treasures to the country:

With a new building of the museum under construction, the most urgent task on the mind of this man seems to be how to fill that space. The answer, as the director who is also an internationally renowned curator with a large overseas network believes, lies partly in his proposal as a CPPCC member.

Fan suggests custom tax be exempt for all art works donated by either foreign or expatriate artists and art institutions to a Chinese museum. "The very name of NAMOC has dual meanings - art of China and art in China," the director said.

"The Ministry of Culture has set up a fund to encourage donations of works by contemporary Chinese artists. And our museum is the main beneficiary. As to the procurement of foreign art works, I think we should take that matter into our own hands."

Acknowledging the stiff competition the museum must face in winning the hearts of potential donors, the director believes that it is crucial to demonstrate the NAMOC is the place where art works can not only be kept safely, but are also actively researched into and regularly shown to an interested public.