China launches museum-building frenzy

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Most cities would be happy to open a multimillion-dollar museum for art, history or science once a decade. Beijing has just unveiled two.

The Beijing Capital Museum, in a sleek building with an airy foyer soaring five stories high, features exhibits that include a full-scale copy of one of the city's old residential lanes.

The Museum of Chinese Film, which visitors enter through a star-shaped front door, showcases a century of cinema history from China's mainland, Hong Kong and other Chinese communities.

The pair are the products of a museum-building boom that the government says will open some 300 new institutions over the next decade, focusing on subjects from World War II to the life of communist founder Mao Zedong. Each of China's 55 ethnic minorities is to get its own museum.

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