Hong Kong opens Tiananmen Square museum

Hong Kong opens Tiananmen Square museum

June 4 Memorial Museum opens ahead of the 25th anniversary of Beijing crackdown

June 4 Memorial Museum opens ahead of the 25th anniversary of Beijing crackdown

A new museum has opened in Hong Kong dedicated to the bloody crackdown down on Chinese pro-democracy campaigners in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The June 4 Memorial Museum, which is located in East Tsim Sha Tsui, opened on Saturday ahead of the 25th anniversary of the fateful days in Beijing that led to the deaths of more than 200 civilians.

The museum will feature a photography exhibition area cataloguing the events of the weeks and months of protests that led to the 4 June crackdown, plus displays of relics and artefacts from the time, including bullets, flyers and t-shirts signed by demonstrators.

'Tank man' has become symbolic of the protest movement (photo from the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China)
‘Tank man’ has become symbolic of the protest movement (photo from the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China)

The attraction’s organisers have also created a library displaying books, magazines and newspapers related to democracy movement and crackdown, while there is also an “interactive zone” and “multimedia education zone”. Visitors will also be invited to buy books and souvenirs of the democracy movement at a gift shop.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which is funding the museum, says it is hoping to attract school groups, in an effort to educate younger visitors about Tiananmen Square.

“The alliance welcomes school booking[s], where students are invited to visit and participate in June 4 education workshop, to understand the history of June 4, to explore the spirit of ’89 democracy movement and the quest for social justice, and to learn about the current situation of the families of June 4 victims,” the group said. “Through these learning experiences we hope to enhance young people’s understanding of our motherland.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has been accused of banning pro-democracy activists from attending the museum’s opening ceremony. The South China Morning Post reported on Saturday that a US-based activist, Dr Yang Jianli, was barred from entering Hong Kong.

“It proves that there is a blacklist in Hong Kong,” Dr Yang was quoted saying by the SCMP, adding that the list is provided by “Beijing, which attempts to intervene in the city’s internal affairs”.

Discussion of the Tiananmen Square crackdown is still suppressed in mainland China, but self-governing Hong Kong is more tolerant of activists. More than 40 million mainland Chinese visited the Hong Kong last year.

 

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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