A museum on last year's May 12 earthquake, the deadliest that hit China in decades, has been opened in the southwestern province of Sichuan while the nation is marking the anniversary of the disaster.
The Wenchuan Earthquake Museum, located in Dayi County of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, displays more than 50,000 objects discovered in the ruins in quake zones and collected from rescuers.
"The quake is a trauma of the nation. We can not face the future if we can not face the past," said curator Fan Jianchuan on Tuesday.
"I hope the museum can serve as an alarm bell to tell people never to relax their alert against natural disasters," Fan said.
The debris of a military helicopter which crashed during an rescue operation is exhibited in the museum. It is the first time that the public will see it, according to Fan.
Heavy machines, vehicles, parachutes, assault boats and fire engines used in rescue operations are also on display.
Visitors can also see the motorbike used by a controversial husband to carry the body of his wife home after the quake. The man, Wu Jiafang, was acclaimed as a "most loyal husband" after a picture photographing him tied with a woman's body on his motorbike stirred a sensation on the Internet.
Controversy, however, rose when he was reported by local media as not on good terms with his wife at all.
A pair of glasses of Fan Meizhong, a teacher who ran away himself and left his students behind without warning them when the quake struck, was also collected by the museum. Fan was fiercely slashed, but also won some sympathy, after he rhetorically exculpated his runaway in his blog, saying he would help nobody, not even his mother, when a quake occurred, with only a possible exception for his daughter.
A pig which survived after being buried for 36 days, has been living a cozy life and grown to 200 kilograms since it came to the museum, where it was given the name Zhu Jianqiang, or literally Pig Strong.
The museum also has an exhibition hall showing quake-related knowledge to visitors, Fan said.
With an investment of more than 30 million yuan (about 4.4 million U.S. dollars), the museum has more than 30 exhibition halls.
Commemorative activities will be held Tuesday afternoon in Yingxiu Township, Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the quake, which left more than 87,000 people died or missing.