Free Entry to Art Galleries and Libraries

The Chinese government declared a new policy that provides open access to public art galleries and libraries across country. According to the new regulation issued jointly by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance, art galleries, libraries, and community cultural centers should remove fees visitors currently pay to gain access or utilize services.

The policy will be implemented in two stages. Institutions on the provincial level should comply with the new regulation by the end of 2011. Establishments on all levels should provide free access and services by the end of 2012.

The new policy is aimed to better meet the public's needs for cultural enrichment and good-quality entertainment. In recent years the Chinese government has shown a desire to advance and enliven the cultural life of the Chinese people in an age of rapid economic expansion.

Some galleries and libraries are already entry-fee free. The National Library in Beijing started to provide free access in 2008. So did the Zhejiang Art Gallery in Hangzhou. The China Art Gallery, located in Beijing, currently charges an entry fee of ¥20.00, as does Shanghai Art Gallery.