The Beijing Museum of Natural History has been criticized for failing to stop tourists from throwing coins and banknotes into a container showcasing one of its dinosaur skeletons.
The skeleton, which belonged to a Lotosaurus adcentus, sits inside a glass container measuring five meters in length, one-meter in width and two-meters tall. Visitors have been trying to squeeze money into the container since last year, and narrow gaps have formed at the top. The museum doesn’t think it’s an issue.
“Most of it is 5 or 10 yuan bills and coins from kids and grown-ups… they do it for fun,” a security guard at the museum told reporters. He added that “We usually don’t stop them since it doesn’t damage the booth or the exhibits.”
Zhou Ying, director of the Beijing Museum of Natural History, believes that people throw change in the containers for superstitious reasons.
“Believers might be tossing coins in the container for health or wealth purposes,” Zhou said
Other experts have criticized the museum, saying that it is the staff’s responsibility to protect historical relics and prevent tourists from damaging exhibits.
One Beijing visitor cited in a Xinhua report agreed, and complained that throwing money in the case “lowers the cultural level of the museum and affects people’s appreciation for the quality of the exhibition”.
Innocent activity or another act of “uncivilized behavior” by tourists? The museum seems to have taken steps to stop coin-dropping by hiring construction workers to fill in the gaps in the glass case.
[Images Via ECNS]
By Sharon Choi