China's largest private art museum, the Long ("Dragon") Museum, has just been inaugurated in Shanghai's special Pudong economic zone with funds from a local couple, Liu Yiquian and Wang Wei, who own one of the most extensive collections of valuable art in this country.

Some of the most emblematic pieces on display at the new museum are the "Sketches of a strange bird," created in the 12th century by Emperor Song Huizong (1082-1135), which Liu acquired in 2009 for 61.7 million yuan (7.4 million euros, or $9.9 million), the official Shanghai Daily reported.

The new museum, which covers 10,000 square meters (105,625 sq. feet), includes creations by some of China's most acclaimed contemporary artists, including Fang Lijun and Zhou Chunya, as well as collections of classical art and Chinese revolutionary art, antique porcelain pieces, pieces of jade and imperial collections.

Shanghai was already well-known for having several of the country's first private art museums, and - including the Long Museum - there are now 17 private museums in the city, many of which contain historic pieces. EFE