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Museum on Grand Canal opens in Beijing

(Xinhua) |Updated : 2023-12-28

BEIJING -- A museum on the connection between Beijing and the 2,500-year-old Grand Canal opened to the public on Wednesday in the Chinese capital.

The Grand Canal Museum of Beijing, also called the Capital Museum East Branch, is located in the Beijing Municipal Administrative Center and has a total floor area of nearly 100,000 square meters.

Its main exhibition focuses on the history of Beijing and the ancient canal, shedding light on the interdependence of the city and the artificial waterway, said Tan Xiaoling, deputy curator of the Capital Museum.

"There is an old saying in Beijing that the city is floating from the Grand Canal. In history, the canal served as a main channel for the flow of goods and cultures," Tan said.

As one of the three landmark buildings of the Beijing Municipal Administrative Center, the new museum resembles a boat in the canal by integrating vessel, sailing and water elements into its architecture, according to Tan.

Connecting Beijing and Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province, the Grand Canal is the world's longest artificial waterway.

Due to human activity and climate change, some of its sections began to dry up in the first half of the 20th century. Thanks to a water supply project, the dried-out sections were refilled with water in 2022 for the first time in almost 100 years.