【 New York Times 】   Post Date: 7/13/2016
Tiananmen Protest Museum in Hong Kong Shuts Its Doors, for Now
Author: AUSTIN RAMZY
More than 24,000 people had visited the 800-square-foot June 4th Museum in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong in the two years since it opened, the operators said in a statement announcing the closing. The museum included a replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue that student protesters erected in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and images and other documentation of the tumultuous events of 1989.

July 13, 2016

 

A replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue at the June 4th Museum in Hong Kong, along with documents from the 1989 protests.

Bobby Yip/Reuters

 

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong museum dedicated to the 1989 Tiananmen protests closed on Tuesday after organizers said that opposition from the building’s owners’ corporation had made it impossible to continue in that location.

 

More than 24,000 people had visited the 800-square-foot June 4th Museum in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong in the two years since it opened, the operators said in a statement announcing the closing. The museum included a replica of the Goddess of Democracy statue that student protesters erected in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and images and other documentation of the tumultuous events of 1989.

 

That year, huge demonstrations engulfed Beijing and other Chinese cities as students and workers pushed for more democratic governance and an end to corruption. The military crushed the protests on June 3-4, 1989, killing hundreds, possibly thousands, of people. The exact toll is still unknown.

 

In Hong Kong, which was then a British colony, large numbers of protesters turned out to support the Tiananmen demonstrators. In 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese control, but it maintains far greater freedoms of speech and assembly than mainland China. The city still holds annual gatherings to memorialize those killed in 1989, the sort of event that is prohibited in mainland China.

 

The museum, which was established by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, an organization founded in 1989 in solidarity with the Tiananmen protests, was intended as a permanent home for efforts at documenting and remembering the protests and crackdown. But it faced opposition from the building’s owners’ corporation. The owners’ corporation pursued a lawsuit against the museum and ordered building management to check visitors’ identification, a move the Hong Kong Alliance said was intended to intimidate people from mainland China who might worry about the repercussions of being documented visiting such a politically sensitive site.

 

The museum operators said in the statement said that over the past two years, they experienced “continued legal harassment” aimed at limiting the number of visitors. They said they were searching for a new site but had not found a location in time to prevent closing the museum, at least temporarily. The organizers have begun a fund-raising campaign to pay for a new site of at least 2,000 square feet, which would hold the museum’s collection and allow for talks and other events. Thus far, the statement said, they have received more than $25,000 and have earmarked about $65,000 raised at the annual June 4 memorials to go to the new museum.

 

 


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Key Words: June 4th,Tiananmen,Hong Kong,Museum
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