China Maritime Museum opens

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s Director, Mary-Louise Williams was invited to attend the opening of the China Maritime Museum in Shanghai. Here, Mary-Louise shares her photos and some notes on what was an incredible event:

Mary-Louise WilliamsThe President of the International Congress of Maritime Museums and representatives from several museums around the world (including the Australian National Maritime Museum) joined hundreds of Chinese officials and guests to celebrate the opening of the new and impressive China Maritime Museum in Pudong, Shanghai, on a hot and wet Monday this week.

On the hour-long drive from the centre of Shanghai it poured with rain and I wondered  just how an outdoor ceremony was going to work! But as luck would have it, 5 minutes before the ceremony began, the clouds cleared for a spectacular event.

Entering China Maritime Museum

Entering China Maritime Museum

The museum is close to the heart of Shanghai’s maritime and commercial centre with its impressively designed building occupying  nearly 50,000 square metres.  

Exhibitions and public programs spaces take up at least  21,000 metres and accommodate large scale replicas of modern and other vessels. The most impressive of which, the Ming Dynasty trading ship, is right in the middle of the entrance foyer reaching up into a vast atrium.

Ming Dynasty trading ship right in the middle of the entrance foyer

The Ming Dynasty trading ship, in the middle of the entrance foyer

China Maritime Museum greeters

Greetings at the China Maritime Museum

China Maritime Museum

China Maritime Museum celebrates opening

Museum staff were very keen to become actively involved in a wider international maritime museum community and we talked at some length after the formal ceremony about the sorts of programs we could develop and share.