In 2012, Shan took the helm of one of the world’s prem

museums. As China’s imperial palace from 1420 to 1911, the museum welcomes millions of visit

ors each year – more than 17.5 million in 2018, among the most of any museum in the world.

Shan became director when the museum was beset by controversies, inc

luding a crowding problem, a burglary and a case of someone damaging its exhibits.

He is often credited with taking creative measures to turn things around. To control the cr

owds, he set a cap of 80,000 daily visitors, and he improved the security of the museum and its exhibits.

Shan also has been known for helping the public see more of the museum and its treasures. He ex

panded the area accessible to the public from 30 percent in 2012 to 80 percent today.

The museum is guardian of more than 1.86 million cultural relics, accord

ing to a detailed inventory finished during Shan’s tenure. That

accounts for 42 percent of country’s total number of “registered national-level precious cultural relics”.