Director of the Palace Museum Shan Jixiang.
(ECNS) -- Director of the Palace Museum Shan Jixiang said he plans to create more space by moving half of staff members and their 800 cars out.
"A public museum should not be used as a private parking lot," Shan said.
He made the remarks during a forum atTHUPDIAcademicWeek in Beijing attended by officials and experts from various fields including cultural relic protection, urban planning and city construction.
Five years ago, only 30 percent of the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, was open to the public. In 2014, the area was enlarged to 50 percent and in 2015 it was expanded to over 65 percent, Shan said. Last year, visitors could access more than 76 percent of the compound. By 2020, more than 80 percent of the Palace Museum compound will open to the public, it was added.
The museum has taken many measures to improve visitor experience, including providing seats for about 1,200 people to have a rest, installing LED lights in the great halls and dismantling more than 130 temporary buildings, said Shan. Such measures not only improved the environment, but also brought people closer to the museum and culture, he noted.
Now, about 1,500 staff members work at the museum, among them about 750 employees who live onsite because of their work demands in dealing with ancient buildings and cultural relics. Other employees, together with their 830 private cars, should move out of the museum, Shan said.