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The new Shanghai Natural History Museum opens

The new Shanghai Natural History Museum has opened its doors to the public on April 19. It has been relocated from a 1920s building to a five-floor structure in the Jing’an Sculpture Park.

It has finally opened to the public after 9 years of design, construction, and arrangement.

As one of China’s largest museums of natural sciences, it is offering visitors a stunning array of life on our planet.

In a section called A Meeting Across Time and Space, different forms of life from the oceans, skies and land masses from across time and space are exhibited to the public.

A total of 11,000 specimens are displayed under 10 sections.

From Africa halfway around the world, the 280-odd specimens displayed at the Walk Into Africa Section showcase the breathtaking beauty of the continent, thanks to the donation of one man.

“I don’t know how they could do a better job than they have here. They’ve created the palace, they’ve created the settings. Now it is up to people like us to take these young people and to make sure that they see the beauty, and they want this beauty to continue. I am so proud to be a small part of this great museum,” said Kenneth E. Behring, African collection donor.

The Colorful Life Section celebrates the varieties on this planet. The vivid colors and different shapes of shells and butterflies are masterpieces of Mother Nature.

The museum design gives a feeling of open space. The use of ramps creates a harmonious relation with the surrounding park, and the cellular glass wall allows natural lighting.

“My favorite part is this space in relation with the entrance space inside, the central organizing feature of the museum. We create very flexible light control, exhibit space, but we also created this kind of orientation space,” said Ralph Johnson, an architect from Perkins+Will.

The new museum is shaped like the shell of a nautilus, a marine creature that has been around for millions of years, long before human beings. It is to remind people what nature has been like and how we should preserve it for the generations to come.