JINAN, CHINA (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Confucius Museum will open in the birthplace of China's most famous sage, Qufu, Shandong province, in the second half of this year, a local official said on Wednesday (Feb 8).
It will be China's first comprehensive museum to focus on Confucius (551-479 BC) and his ideology, the official said.
"Work on the exhibition centre, the main building of the museum complex, has been completed, while detailed work on exhibition platforms and landscaping is underway," said Zhang Lizheng of the Qufu Culture Industry Park where the museum is located.
The museum complex, with a total investment of 700 million yuan (S$144 million), consists of an exhibition centre and six subordinate halls over a total of 57,000 square meters.
The museum is a cultural project showcasing Confucian teachings and relics collected by generations of Confucius, as well as a place to learn about traditional culture, said Yang Jinquan, deputy head of the Qufu bureau of cultural relics.
Construction of the museum started in 2013, but was disrupted due to financial issues and discussions over how to present the essence of Confucian thoughts and teachings in the most accurate way.
Local government statistics show that by the end of last year, a total of 380 million yuan had been spent on the museum.
Yang Chaoming, head of the Confucius Research Institute in Qufu, said the museum is of great importance.
"Currently, people learn Confucian teachings mainly from textbooks and at the Confucius Temple. At the museum, visitors will be able to gain a more in-depth understanding about Confucius and his teachings via images, modern technologies and relics related to the sage," said Yang Chaoming, who is also a member of the provincial political advisory body.
Yang Yitang, an expert on Confucian studies at the Jining bureau of cultural relics, said: "About 350,000 Confucius-related relics and archives that now rest in storerooms will be better protected and presented to the public, helping experts and tourists to learn about the sage."
Teachings of Confucius, an educator and philosopher, deeply influenced later Chinese generations. He was the first Chinese to set up private schools and enroll students from all walks of life.