A three-month exhibition of luxury brand Louis Vuitton, which opened Monday at the National Museum of China is proving controversial, as no trade mark had been displayed in the property before.
The exhibition occupies four rooms in the museum located in the heart of Beijing, just reopened after renovations. Each room is equipped with large mirrors and special lighting to create a dazzling effect, according to Chinanews.com.
Handbags, luggage and other products displayed are protected by security guards, “as cultural relics, and visitors are not allowed to touch them. “This is ridiculous. The country has a long history and such a cultural heritage to explore, but let us now take a purely commercial brand exposure, “fumed Zhang Tinghao, former director of the Institute for Research on Chinese cultural heritage.
“As a public service institution, the museum should take the responsibility to guide and educate its visitors, ” he said.
On the microblogging site weibo.com, many users expressed their anger. Much may deem inappropriate for luxury brands in an environment of cultural treasures, and called the museum to behave with dignity, beyond the profit motive trademarks.
Some noted that they would prefer the National Museum works with other museums around the world to broaden their horizons.
Chen Lusheng, deputy director of the museum, assured that he understood the reactions to the exhibition Louis Vuitton, as this was the first time that the institution organizing an event of this type. “But compared with the Louis Vuitton brand founded 157 years ago, our museum (whose centenary is to celebrate) is still young, ” he replied.
He added that the museum had adopted strict selection criteria for a brand to gain exposure, emphasizing the historical and artistic value. Mr. Chen said that Louis Vuitton has signed numerous original creations that have marked the history of travel and “represented the art and emotions. ” He hoped that the museum’s activities are used to “illuminate ” the cultural and creative industries in China.
An official of Louis Vuitton said that although the brand has paid high fees for exhibition, he felt that the activity was worth. The exact amount was not disclosed.