Fan Jianchuan, a private collector, founded China's largest museum, the Jianchuan Museum, in 2006. Fan's project includes eight museums commemorating the Sino-Japanese War. Twelve others deal with the 10-year Cultural Revolution, initiated by Mao Zedong in 1966. Fan displays more than 200,000 historic photos, posters, stamps, chinaware, letters, uniforms, badges and other antiques from the Mao era. The museums also house his collection of more than 10,000 paintings, manuscripts and other relics from wars in China's modern history, before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Fan has spent 30 million yuan (US$3.6 million) over the past 20 years collecting the antiques. His museums, covering 33 hectares, cost another 100 million yuan to build. Fan, 47, had been a soldier, a teacher and vice mayor of his hometown Yibin City for two years before founding the Chengdu-based Jianchuan Group, which is involved in real estate development, hotels and cultural projects.
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