Situated on the Peoples Square in the Huangpu District, the Shanghai Museum is a museum of ancient Chinese art, houses more than 12,000 rare cultural pieces and several items of national importance, including one of three extant specimens of a "transparent" bronze mirror from the Han Dynasty. It has 11 state-of-the-art galleries and 3 special exhibition halls, all encircling a spacious cylindrical atrium. The Museum also exhibits its material in museums both within China and abroad. The museum also has a library collection of more than 200,000 books on Chinese art and history.
Designed by a local architect, the new museum building is designed in the shape of an ancient, bronze, tripod cooking vessel called a ding. It is said that the inspiration for the design was specifically provided by the Da Ke Ding, now on exhibit in the museum. The building has round top and a square base, symbolising the ancient Chinese perception of the world as "round sky, square earth".