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Images of old Shanghai are poignant reminder
By Yang Jian

SHANGHAI Municipal Archives yesterday put on display a collection of more than 1,000 photos of the city donated by a relative of a foreigner who worked in the city in the 1930s.

Many of the images were taken by Francesco Taliani, an Italian diplomat who worked in Shanghai in 1938 at the time of the Chinese War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). The collection was donated by Carlos Morell, a Spanish painter and distant relative of the statesman.

“The precious photos about the war fill a gap in our collection,” said Zhu Jihua, curator of the archive.

The photos depict local landmarks, including Shanghai West Railway Station and Nanjing Road E., after they were bombed by Japanese planes.

“They are a proof of the crimes of the Japanese intruders,” Zhu said.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are five black-and-white 3D photos, which are being made available to the public for the first time ever.

The images, which were taken around Suzhou Creek and along Nanjing and Fuzhou roads, were produced by Underwood & Underwood Publishers around 1900.

The United States-based company published was a pioneer of 3D image technology and published more than 10 million of them. The 3D effect is achieved by viewing two, almost identical, pictures side by side.

Visitors to the exhibition can see photocopies and original documents free of charge at the Shanghai Municipal Archives at the Bund on presentation of their identity card or passport.

Meanwhile, the archive also yesterday established the city’s first financial archive center featuring more than 100 photos, and 200 documents and other exhibits.

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