THE 20-year-old Shenzhen Science Museum will be moved to a new location in Nanshan District where it is due to open in 2013.
Construction of the new museum, expected to cost 1.78 billion yuan (US$260 million), would begin next year in the science and technology park in Nanshan, on an area of nearly 10,000 square meters, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
The new museum would be the main venue for science exhibitions, conferences and other activities, putting an end to an awkward position the current museum has been in during the past decade, said Wu Zhenhua, deputy curator of the museum who is in charge of the new construction.
Many Shenzheners called the current science museum, on Shangbu Road Central in Futian District, "the training center" because a large part of the museum has been rented out to training organizations for profit.
"There's no science activity held there. It has somehow turned into an office building because it is always occupied for all kinds of trainings," said a man surnamed Chen.
Chen, who is engaged in science education, once wanted to organize a science exhibition at the museum but was denied because the museum was scheduled for a commercial activity that day, he said.
The commercial income was, however, vital to the maintenance and operation of the museum, according to a museum employee, who asked not to be named because he wasn't authorized to comment.
He said the museum had to turn to commercial activities to pay the staff. "It is only partly subsidized by the city government and the subsidy is not at all enough to cover expenses."
The museum was built in 1983 as one of the city's eight cultural landmarks together with Shenzhen University, Shenzhen TV Station, the press center, Shenzhen Stadium, Shenzhen Library, Shenzhen Museum and the Grand Theater.
It opened in 1987, organizing exclusive science exhibitions and lectures. It wasn't opened to the public until 1990.
Source: Shenzhen Daily