on October 2, 2006
If you visit only one museum in China, make it this one. Although its collection cannot rival that of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, it is nonetheless very impressive—it has the largest collection of ancient Chinese bronze artifacts, for example. Exhibits are arranged by material, rather than dynasty, which is slightly unusual for a Chinese museum, but in fact aids understanding and appreciation. There are 4 to 5 floors of state-of-the-art galleries, and clear explanations/signs in Chinese and English. The attached gift shop is also very good, with a wide selection of books, in Chinese and English, on Chinese art, architecture, and history. The building itself, on People's Square, is designed to resemble an ancient Chinese bronze vessel, the ding.
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