A frequent museum visitor

2024-05-18 09:59:52 | Source:english.news.cn 2024-05-17

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- To understand a person, their workspace can be a good starting point, with the carefully curated decorations often providing a glimpse into cherished memories.

As President Xi Jinping appeared on television with his new-year message for 2024, a subtle yet significant addition was noticed in the backdrop of his office -- a photograph capturing his thoughtful observation of artifacts at the Sanxingdui Museum -- elegantly displayed on the shelves behind him.

Xi paid a visit to the museum in July 2023. Located in southwest China's Sichuan Province, it houses a mesmerizing array of artifacts from the Sanxingdui Ruins, a relics site dating back to 4,500 years to 3,000 years ago.

The Sanxingdui Museum is one of a variety of museums he has visited in recent years, with others including the ruins of the capital of the late Shang Dynasty (1600 B.C.-1046 B.C.) in Henan, an opera museum in Guangdong, and an aviation museum in Beijing.

Traveling abroad, he also took time to visit museums if possible, including the Acropolis Museum in Athens during a state visit to Greece in 2019.

"I've loved visiting museums since I was a child, and I had been to almost all the museums in Beijing back then," Xi revealed his passion for museums in a conversation with Song Yan, deputy curator of the Nanjing Museum Administration.

Xi grew up in Beijing, a city that has served as the capital for more than 800 years. His memories of biking to school alongside the aged city wall remain vivid to this day, as he told Song.

During his nascent political career in Zhengding County in the early 1980s, Xi said that "a person who loves the vast expanse of China will surely cherish each of her streams, every inch of her land, and every page of her glorious history."

In those years, Xi undertook efforts to repair a Buddhist temple, preserve ancient tablet inscriptions, and propose artifact surveys and protection. For him, cultural relics are carriers of civilizations; they help pass on history and culture and sustain the spirit of a nation.

His appreciation of relics and heritage persisted through his later years working in different parts of China. In Fujian, he allocated a significant amount of funds for renovating a historic mansion on the island of Gulangyu, known for its musical legacy. The decision helped build the world's largest organ museum there. In Zhejiang, a new museum dedicated to celadon wares would have been impossible without his support.

"Museums bridge the past, present, and future," Xi said. They also provide knowledge and inspiration for state governance, as he once told his Party leadership colleagues that many issues encountered in governing a country and society can find their parallels in history, and many events from history can also serve as a mirror for today.

It was, in fact, at a museum where Xi introduced the idea of the Chinese Dream.

In November 2012, shortly after he was elected general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Xi led the Party leadership team to the National Museum of China.

There, Xi reflected on the nation's hardships, unwavering struggles, and challenging explorations since the 19th century. With a comprehensive understanding of history and a strong sense of mission, Xi put forward the Chinese Dream -- a clarion call for national rejuvenation, and ushered in a new era for the country.