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21 Jul, 2017

China tightens regulation of private museums

Beijing, 20 July 2017, Xinhua — China has issued new rules to strengthen the management of non-state-owned museums, forbidding private museums to distribute property among founders and sponsors when they are shut down.

Guanfu Museum is an art museum in Beijing. It was among the first private museums in China. [Photo provided to China Daily]

According to the regulation issued by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the residual property should be used for the public interest. Other museums with similar services have priority to receive remaining collections.

Non-state-owned museums are required to make public information about their collections, exhibitions, the management and use of assets and donations, according to the rules.

China’s non-state-owned museums have undergone what insiders called “unchecked, barbaric growth”.

In 2015, the State Council issued a regulation to address problems in private museums, including slack management and supervision, weak infrastructure, improper preservation and the illegal trade of ancient relics.