Guangzhou to focus on library, cultural development

Updated: 2012-12-26 17:41

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou (

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Guangzhou is planning to expand its investment in libraries next year, according to Wang Dong, the vice-mayor of the Guangdong provincial capital, which will help raise the cultural quality of the southern metropolis.

In addition to the now-completed new Guangzhou Library, another major library will be opened in Conghua, a suburban city of Guangzhou, next year, Wang said on Wednesday.

"More district and community libraries will also be built in coming years to help increase the library ratio among local residents," he added.

Located in the Zhujiang (Pearl River) New Town in Guangzhou's Tianhe district, the new 10-storey 840 million yuan ($134.4 million) Guangzhou Library will be partly opened to the public before the end of the year.

The new 50m-high building has a floor space of 98,977 square meters, six times that of the old building in the city's Yuexiu district, and house double the number of books.

The new library, together with Guangzhou Opera House, Guangdong Provincial Museum and Guangzhou No 2 Children's Palace, have become four iconic landmarks of Zhujiang New Town, located on the northern bank of the Pearl River, according to Wang and Guangzhou city government still has 34 key cultural projects in the development pipeline that will be speeded up in 2013.

Priority will be given to the construction of Lingnan (South China) Cultural Grand View Garden, the new Guangzhou Museum, Guangzhou Art Gallery, Guangzhou Cultural Center, Yueju (Guangdong Opera) Art Museum, Guangzhou Press and Cultural Center, Guangzhou Marine Museum and Guangzhou Hall of Guangdong Sages.

Construction of the cultural projects aims to change the city that has been dubbed by some as a "cultural desert" into a place where cultural development can compete with its economic growth, Wang said.

By the end of 2015, Guangzhou's cultural industry is expected to be able to represent more than 10 percent of the city's gross domestic product, double the current level.