19:48 GMT +318 December 2017
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    China Might Make Tickets for Palace Museum Free

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    Ticket prices for entry to the Palace Museum will not be raised, and the museum would potentially welcome visitors for free if the government approved and the public were on board, according to Shan Jixiang, the director of the museum.

    Shan said in 2016 that the number of visitors to the Palace Museum had hit a record high, totaling 16 million, more than the visitors to the Louvre and the British Museum combined. In 2017, the museum put a cap on its number of visitors–80,000 per day.

    More visiting space has been opened in recent years. In 2012, only 48 percent of the museum was open to the public. In 2014, that area was enlarged to 52 percent, and in 2015 it expanded to over 65 percent, Shan said. Last year, visitors could access more than 76 percent of the compound. By 2020, more than 80 percent of the Palace Museum compound will open to the public.

    Shan said that the current price of museum tickets is not expensive. Peak season tickets are 60 RMB ($8.80), while off-peak tickets cost 40 RMB. These prices won’t be raised, he emphasized.

    In order to better protect and manage cultural relics, Shan has reiterated on many occasions that the museum hopes to be recognized as a world cultural heritage site.

    In January 2017, the “antiques hospital,” the museum’s repair and restoration workshop, was opened to the public. The workshop is equipped with 200 trained employees and boasts advanced facilities. Objects there are treated with as much care and respect as actual patients are in a hospital.

    The Palace Museum’s Taobao store, home to a number of cultural and creative products, has become a hot topic on the internet. Statistics show that more than 9,170 distinctive cultural creative products and accessories had been launched by the end of 2016.

    This article was originally published in the Global Times.

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