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Looking for a Museum Job? Try China

With the Summer Olympics coming to Beijing in 2008, all of China is busily buffing itself for the TV cameras and crowds of tourists. According to today’s Wall Street Journal, one element of this charm offensive surrounds the museum trade. From the article, by Mei Fong:

Daishan, a fishing community three hours from [Shanghai], is building a museum devoted to typhoons. Tropical Hainan, a resort island, recently built a tree-root museum. The industrial town of Changzhou is enlarging its smoking museum. Its aim is “to broaden the spread of cigarette culture,” according to its proprietor Ge Xiaoxing … Around the country, other new museums in development include showcases for the history of oil lamps, beer, salt, and piped water. Leaders of the world’s most populous nation have issued orders to build or refurbish 1,000 museums by 2010. Museum expert Lu Jiansong has been asked to conceive, design, and plan more than 25 of them, with themes ranging from aerospace to tea leaves. How Chinese officials came up with the goal is a mystery enshrined in a five-year plan.