Zhuhai is slated to have a first-of-its-kind non-State-owned museum displaying the history and culture of overseas study by Chinese people. It is expected to be completed in about three years and will be free to the public.
A seminar is being held from Feb 25 to 27 to collect views on academic planning for the museum.
More than ten famous scholars from around the country have been invited to provide insights on both overall and specific block plans.
The museum will cover 30,000 sq m with a floor space of 23,400 sq m. It will be located south of Citic Mangrove Bay and north of Huafa Century City near the Qianshan River.
The structures are slated to some degree to memorialize Rong Hong (Yung Wing) (1828-1912), the Forefather of Overseas Study. The Zhuhai-born educator, diplomat and social activist was the first Chinese student to receive a degree from an American university (Yale College in 1854).
Rendering of the Zhuhai Overseas Study Museum
Rong initiated the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM) in 1872 which sent 120 youngsters to study in the US northeast, many of whom returned to China to make significant contributions to their homeland. The program was the first wave of the study-abroad movement of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Rong's name had been engraved in national history and his spirit is celebrated to this day, inspiring more bright young talents to study abroad and return to their homeland.
Experts have suggested that the museum's layout should have a "trinity" of three main buildings connected by two squares and a street.
The "trinity" consists of a building for the Zhuhai Overseas Study Museum, a Returned Overseas Chinese Startup Incubator, and an incubator for cultural businesses.
The museum will form the principal part. The first phase will be a pavilion displaying Rong's achievements alongside those of four other scholars to highlight studies in countries like the United States, Japan, the Soviet Union, and various countries in Europe. Another two halls will be built to focus on contemporary overseas study activity. The second phase will display the development of studying abroad in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. Also in the design stage are exhibition areas featuring international students in China and outstanding female returnee scholars.
A research center and a big data center will be erected related to the theme of Chinese studying both domestically and abroad.
Zhou Mian, director of the Research Center of the Chinese Student Abroad & Modern China at Jiangsu Normal University, said that development of the museum will help construct Zhuhai's local cultural brand as well as arouse the enthusiasm of students studying abroad to return to contribute to China.
According to the developer, a joint venture of the Zhuhai DCZT Cultural & Creative Industry Park and Shenzhen Poly Culture Development, construction will soon be underway.
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