Saturday, September 20, 2008

South China city unveils world's largest sci-tech museum

China's better-off southern city of Guangzhou on Friday night unveiled a sci-tech museum, the largest of its kind in the world.

With a floor area larger than Beijing's Tian'anmen Square, the steel-structured main building of the Guangdong Science Center features a blooming kapok flower.

The museum seats on Xiaoguwei Island, known as the university town of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

To be officially opened to the public on Sept. 27, the center offers eight exhibition areas, four science cinemas, two open laboratories and a digital "family experience" hall.

Outside the main building, there is an 80,000-square-meter artificial lake for water-theme exhibitions and an outdoor sciencesquare.

The museum cost 1.9 billion yuan , all on government funding, to have been built over five years, said Zhang Ming, deputy head of the Guangdong science and technology bureau at the center's unveiling ceremony Friday night.

He said the center would demonstrate China's newest fruits on science and technology. Among 400 items of such exhibits in the center, more than half would be on their debut show.

He said the outdoor area of the non-profit science center would be ticket-free.

Zhang added the provincial government hoped that the center would become an attraction for the promotion of new science and technology and a venue for academic exchanges.

Visitors to the interactive science center can also experience simulated earthquake and typhoon environments, or a satellite launch process, and play with a robot.