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Queues snake around natural history museum on opening day
By Cai Wenjun and Zhang Ningning

Shanghai Natural History Museum had to twice halt ticket sales on its opening day yesterday as it was swamped with visitors.

Officials said 10,400 people visited the new museum in Jing’an Sculpture Park in downtown Jing’an District.

At 2pm, people were still queuing to get in, despite notices advising them to return another day. It takes an estimated four hours to tour the museum.

Attractions include dinosaur models that move and roar and numerous interactive multimedia displays allowing visitors to get close to exhibits.

The museum said its visitor capacity at any one time is 5,544 and its daily maximum is 13,860 people.


To ensure a safe and comfortable environment, officials said they slow down or stop admissions once 4,000 people are inside.

Hundreds of people were already queuing outside the museum when tickets went on sale just before 9am yesterday.

Ticket sales and admissions were first suspended at 10:35am and the park also temporarily closed its gates to help control the flow.

Visitors queued outside the park, with batches let in every 15 minutes. Then they queued for museum tickets.

“The queue was hundreds of meters long,” said a volunteer, surnamed Shen.

“Information with real-time visitor numbers and advice for those waiting was shown on screens to keep people informed. They were understanding and cooperative.”


Sales and admission restarted at 11:55am after numbers inside dropped to 3,500. But restrictions resumed at around 1:25pm for about 35 minutes.

Some of those queuing were not prepared to wait.

“We arrived at noon and my husband began to queue. The museum stopped selling tickets while we were still in the middle of the line so we decided to give up,” said local resident Shen Quan.

But many of those who endured the queues said it was all worth it.

“We came specially at 9am in order to see the museum,” said Li Feng, a college student visiting with his girlfriend.

“It’s a people-centered museum with many interactive programs. The restrictions are necessary to ensure visitors get the full effect.”

The Shanghai Natural History Museum is open from 9am to 5:15pm.

It will usually be closed on Mondays but will open today to meet demand.


Admission is 30 yuan (US$4.8) for adults, with discounts or free admission for seniors, students and children.

Tickets are sold from 8:55am to 4:30pm at the museum, while e-tickets are available on the museum website at www.snhm.org.cn. Currently, the site is only in Chinese.

Work began on the three-floor museum in 2009.

It replaces the previous Shanghai Natural History Museum on Yan’an Road that closed last year after 58 years.

The museum has nearly 290,000 specimens, with 11,000 on display at a time.

Officials advise those planning a visit to check real-time visitor numbers on its website.


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