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【palace museum】weighs

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【导读】Get Flash PlayerThe Palace Museum is mulling changing its ticket policy to better protect ..

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The Palace Museum is mulling changing its ticket policy to better protect its heritage and visitors' safety.

At a consultative meeting on Thursday, the museum, which is located in the Forbidden City, asked about 30 regular visitors, volunteers and tour guides for opinions on the ticket policy.

One option it is considering is raising prices in the peak season and reducing them during the offseason, said Shan Jixiang, director of the museum.

In that way, visitors can be diverted from the peak season, he said. "We want to ensure the safety of both the visitors and the cultural relics in the museum, especially in the peak season, "he said.

Under the current policy, a ticket to the Palace Museum costs 60 yuan ($9.50) in the peak season from April to October and 40 yuan the rest of the year. The policy has been practiced for 13 years. The new prices are still to be decided.

The peak season is too long to effectively divert visitors, he said. The museum is thinking about prolonging the offseason to April and cutting the peak season by one month.

There are currently 10 kinds of concessionary tickets offered to people such as students, seniors and the disabled. These types of tickets might be integrated to improve the efficiency of the ticket office, he said.

At the same time, the museum is planning to issue annual tickets to visitors who come to the Palace Museum frequently to see the architecture and exhibitions. It is still to be discussed how much the annual card should cost and whether it can be used for an unlimited amount of visits.

As the imperial palace for the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, the Palace Museum is identified by UNESCO as the world's largest existing complex of ancient wooden architecture.

In 2012, the museum had 15.34 million visitors and more than 14.56 million in 2013, making it the most-visited museum in the world. A record high 182,000 visitors came to the museum on Oct 2, 2012, the second day of the weeklong National Day holiday. The October holiday and summer vacation are the busiest times of the year for the museum.

A volunteer who has served as a guide at the museum for nine years suggested the price be raised to reduce the number of visitors. "The current prices do not match the status of the Palace Museum," she said, declining to be identified. "The crowds have caused so much unapparent damage to the cultural relics."

However, museum director Shan did not agree with the suggestion of increasing ticket prices year-round to cut down on crowds.

"Many visitors have come a long way to Beijing to see the palace. We don't want to ward them off like that," he said.

Questions:

1. Where is the Palace Museum located?

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