A museum with a difference in China


Ideally, a museum is where age-old artefacts, which throw light on a bygone era, are preserved with utmost care. But this museum comes with a difference as here one can find animals and snakes. The Lushun Snake Museum at Dalian city in China is a perfect blend of tourism, environment protection, and amusement.

The snake museum is part of the Lushun Museum Center and the facility is the largest one for snakes in Asia. The Lushun Museum Center houses Lushun Museum, garden, zoo, snake museum, friendship tower, and 'civetory' tower. The snake museum rides on the basic theme 'back to nature' and has a giant turtle zone, crocodile zone, snake zone, precious animal zone, and specimen zone. The facility also boasts of more than 30 Yangtze crocodiles and thousands of snakes. The museum has giant turtles, crocodiles, water snakes, venomous snakes, pythons, huge salamanders, animals facing extinction, and marine reptiles.

The Lushun Museum, which faces the friendship tower, has three exhibition themes. The first one is the cultural relics of past dynasties, the second is Dalian-specific historical and cultural relics and the third one is the Xinjiang mummy. Flowers are galore at the Lushun gardens as it has dozens of valuable flowers and more than 200 varieties of plants such as sago, oriental cherry, cypress trees, and phoenix trees.

The snake museum, which was established in 1917, was opened to the public the next year. The erstwhile Soviet Union took control of the museum center in 1945 and changed its name to Lushun Eastern Cultural Museum. The Soviets handed over the museum to the Chinese government in 1951 and later the original name was retained.

The Lushun Museum has precious bronze artefacts, Xianjian relics, paintings, and ceramics. Apart from these, it also possesses foreign antiques including the Gandhara sculpture from India. The cultural and heritage department joined hands with local administrations to renovate and spruce up the museum by spending close to two lakh Yuan in the 1980s. The municipal government continued the renovation work in 1999-2000 and installed a foolproof security system including burglar and fire alarms by shelling out nearly 30 lakh Yuan. Nearly two lakh people visit the museum every year and the authorities concerned are chalking out plans to attract more foreign and domestic tourists to the museum.

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