Heritage homes need better management: son of writer Lu Xun

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 March, 2008, 12:00am

Former residences of prominent mainland public figures should be taken care of instead of being left in a dilapidated state, the son of Lu Xun , one of China's best-known writers, said on the sidelines of the CPPCC meeting yesterday.

A glimpse of literary giants' lives and their past residences could enliven their images in the heart of the people and induce the public to read their works, said Zhou Haiying , a delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

'The existence of Chinese culture is not limited to paying tribute to Kongzi [Confucius]; there are also many cultures which have been inherited from the past,' Mr Zhou said.

He said the former residences had not received the attention and maintenance they deserved.

A museum was established at his father's former residence in Lu Xun Park in Shanghai in 1956, and it was renovated between 1998 and 2003. Lu lived there from 1933 until his death on October 19, 1936.

Mr Zhou told China News Service that his father's family had always wanted museum management to carry out repairs on the deteriorating relics.

'But the staff said, 'These are relics, we can't touch them. Only his relatives - you guys - can touch them,'' he said.

To change the situation, Mr Zhou suggested that big charities or cultural organisations invite descendants of prominent public figures to 'directly participate in the monitoring and management' of their former residences.

He welcomed as a step in the right direction Premier Wen Jiabao's announcement in his work report to the National People's Congress that admission to museums and memorial halls would be free for the public this year and next. He said consideration was needed for the expected surge in visitor numbers.

He suggested some of the former residences could also be open to the public free of charge.

He added that others could impose symbolic entry fees of one or two yuan to prevent the public from treating them simply as places to rest.