Sichuan Museum apologizes for interpreter’s use of laser pointer on ancient paintings
Published: Jul 11, 2023 05:20 AM
Sichuan Museum in Chengdu Photo: Xinhua

Sichuan Museum in Chengdu Photo: Xinhua

Sichuan Museum in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province has apologized after a netizen revealed that an interpreter shone a laser pointer on ancient paintings, despite a notice saying that no flash should be used.

The netizen posted his experience on Sino Weibo on July 7, prompting vigorous discussion.

While looking at ancient paintings by famous painter Chen Hongshou of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the interpreter shone a light on the paintings. The "no flash" warning notice was pointed out, but the interpreter continued, saying "it will be fine, we won't shine it for long and we will note that."

After days of silence on the issue, the Sichuan Museum acknowledged it yesterday, apologizing for the inappropriate conduct of the interpreter. 

"We apologized for the use of the low-power laser pointer to guide the audience, and we will take this as a warning, strictly regulate the use of interpretation aids, and do a good job of staff training and supervision," Sichuan Museum said in a post on Weibo. 

The National Museum of China has rules for interpretation in museums. "Do not speak loudly or stay in key areas for heritage viewing for a long time," the rules state, adding that people should not "lean on display cases" or do anything else to "affect the normal visiting order."

In May, a tourist visiting the Yungang Grottoes in North China's Shanxi Province saw a guide using a laser pointer on the murals. And in 2022, a visitor to Xi'an Museum in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province saw a museum guide using a laser on cultural heritage.