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Museums to feature items used in fight against COVID-19

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-26 07:55
Members of staff at the Qianjiang Museum in Hubei province showcase a hazmat suit, worn and signed by Shanxi province's medical team that supported Hubei in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. [PHOTO/XINHUA]

WUHAN-Since mid-March, Gao Wan'e has been busy collecting items demonstrating China's collective efforts in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic with her colleagues in Wuhan, Hubei province, previously the nation's hardest-hit city.

Gao, curator of the Wuhan Revolutionary Museum, said they had received more than 9,600 pieces of material evidence from patients and other members of the public, as well as organizations including hospitals, airports and construction enterprises.

Items including protective suits with signatures of medical teams from all over the country, souvenir boarding passes of medical workers when they left Wuhan, boots worn by military medics when they worked at Huoshenshan Hospital, ventilators and other medical equipment are included in the collection.

Now, all the epidemic-related objects have been stored in a temporary warehouse at the museum after being disinfected.

Wearing goggles and her protective suit, Hu Dan, a member of staff with the museum, has been sorting and registering the latest additions to the collection.

"We are in contact with the materials collected from the front line of the fight against the virus every day. Although we are also worried about being infected, we still insist on doing this work, hoping to leave something for future generations and record the precious memories," she says.

The item that struck her most was donated by an old man from the city of Qiqihar in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.

On the afternoon of April 22, the museum received a special delivery without any recipient or address. It contained a letter and a portrait of Zhong Nanshan, a renowned 84-year-old respiratory specialist who had been fighting COVID-19 on the front line.

In the letter, Fu Mingxing, 85, who used to be an artist for Qiqihar Library, wrote that he was saddened to see the Hubei people suffering due to the pandemic. Although he was unable to help Wuhan with money because of financial constraints, he hoped the painting, which took him three days to finish, could cheer the city up.

"As long as the delivery can be sent to the Wuhan people, I will be relieved," he says.

After getting his permission, Huang Jingyu, a worker with Best Express, one of the major courier companies in China, contacted the media and finally sent the parcel to the Wuhan Revolutionary Museum, which was eagerly seeking mementos. The curator thanked him personally via a video call.

"The people in Wuhan made great sacrifices in the resolute fight against the pandemic, but what I can do for them is too little. Thank you, Wuhan," Fu says.

A donation ceremony of objects related to the fight against the epidemic was held at the Wuhan Revolutionary Museum on Monday, as part of its special activities to mark the 44th International Museum Day. Workers and volunteer representatives from all walks of life in Wuhan who had participated in the fight against COVID-19 told touching stories behind the objects at the ceremony.

Curator Gao says never before has the museum been so constructively involved in the political, social and cultural issues of modern society as a means of strengthening its ties to the community.

Since March, a dozen museums in Hubei including the Wuhan Revolutionary Museum have actively solicited from the public various material evidence of the country's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. As of May 15, a total of more than 20,000 items had been collected.

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