Museums proposed to remember battle with COVID-19

China Daily
Chen Zhuo
2020-05-28 18:01:56
Members of staff at the Qianjiang Museum in Hubei province showcase a hazmat suit, worn and signed by Shanxi province's medical team that supported Hubei in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. [Photo/Xinhua]

A memorial and museums to commemorate the nation's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic have been separately proposed by a legislator and two political advisers.

"The country has a total of 5,535 museums, but few of them focus on public health, pandemics or disaster prevention," said Lu Yongxiu, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body, and deputy curator of the Tianjin Art Museum.

Lu proposed during the two sessions the establishment of a museum to help people cope with grief and mourning that resulted from the novel coronavirus outbreak.

She said, more importantly, a museum could teach younger generations how to prevent and contain disasters and pandemics in the future.

Lu suggested it be called the Museum of Disaster Reduction and Pandemic Control for Youth and Children and be established under the National Disaster Reduction Center of the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Another CPPCC National Committee member, Zhang Fengbao, vice-president of Tianjin University, said: "Knowledge about infectious diseases should be shared with young generations. We also need to raise public awareness of pandemic control and prevention among young children."

Zhang said a museum should highlight the contributions of medical workers, soldiers, police and social workers on the front line. It should also recognize the commitment of Chinese medical experts offering support overseas and the generous donations by Chinese companies of medical supplies to fight the global pandemic.

Cai Hua, a National People's Congress deputy and head of the Tianjin Lawyers Association, proposed a memorial hall or a monument to commemorate the country's efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and pay tribute to heroes from different sectors of society.

Since mid-February, 10 provincial-and city-level museums have called for donations of diverse items related to the pandemic.

On March 15, the National Cultural Heritage Administration issued a notice calling for the donation of medical and other items. On May 12, the Second Hospital of Tianjin Medical University donated 16 items, including protective suits and equipment and prescriptions for patients, to the Tianjin Museum.

Since January, when the outbreak intensified, many museums around the country have launched online services and livestreamed exhibitions.

"Our studies indicate the overall online clicks on the country's museums have hit 5 billion since late January, which reflects the public's interest in and demand for museums," Lu said.

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