Angered by jingoistic tone

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 March, 1998, 12:00am

I read with alarm and then contempt Victoria Finlay's review of the design for the new Museum of History (South China Morning Post, March 13).

I too have seen the plans, from the privileged position of a company bidding for the work, I readily admit. I, however, believe the design to be fairly comprehensive, dramatic and educational in the broadest sense.

History did not start with Ms Finlay's arrival in the territory and it is precisely our proximity to the recent past which makes it difficult to present it in a developed and impartial manner. The dramatic events of the past three to four years (approximately the same period over which the design has been developed) have completely changed our perceptions of recent political history. Whereas Ms Finlay's mocking, jingoistic tone would have us believe that such observations should be set in stone, but not artificial ones, and by the end of the article I was surprised that she hadn't called for inclusion of a bird flu exhibit.

Great civic centres of the world have whole museums which specialise in specific aspects of history, but Hong Kong cannot afford this and so the massive span of time must be presented in a microcosm. To suggest as she does that only the last 60 years or so are relevant is myopic to say the least.