It's up to owners to carry costs, says professor

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 2006, 12:00am

People should seriously consider whether they can shoulder the burden of running a private museum before embarking on such a project, a mainland scholar has warned.

Professor Song Xiangguang , of Peking University's School of Archaeology and Museology, said government policies were ambiguous about private museums and, in the absence of any official funding, owners had to carry a huge financial burden.

Private museums were recognised by the central government for the first time this year, when new regulations from the Ministry of Culture came into effect.

But they do not refer to any incentives or tax breaks for such projects.

Professor Song said people who set up or planned to set up private museums were usually full of enthusiasm, 'but they must be prepared for operational difficulties'.

He said there were 200 to 300 private museums throughout the country, compared with more than 2,000 public museums. The authorities were still assessing the situation.