June 4th protests

Museum on June 4 incident in works

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 4:51am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 4:51am

Tourists from the mainland will be able to find out more about the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown when the world's first permanent memorial museum on the incident opens in Hong Kong in April.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China has bought space in a building in Tsim Sha Tsui for more than HK$9.7 million and aims to open the museum just ahead of the 25th anniversary of the June 4 incident.

"We want to target the younger generation, those born after the massacre, and the mainlanders, who live in a place where the words 'June 4' are banned," alliance chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said. "The museum might help them to understand their history objectively."

The alliance last year opened a temporary June 4 memorial museum in Sham Shui Po. This year it moved to City University and attracted about 21,000 visitors. Lee said the temporary museum was not able to display precious exhibits for security reasons, but the 800-square-foot permanent venue might solve that problem.

The permanent gallery is expected to charge an entry fee of about HK$20, unlike the temporary ones, which were free.

"The alliance has only made a down payment of HK$6 million … we expect the operational costs, together with instalment payments to be up to HK$800,000 a year," alliance vice-chairman Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong said.

A new two-metre Goddess of Democracy statue - which symbolises the Tiananmen Square student protests - will be built and erected in the museum, while workshops and exhibitions will be held regularly.

The museum's first exhibition will look at how Beijing's leaders and Hong Kong's chief executives and lawmakers changed what they said about the incident over the past 25 years.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying - who last year refused to comment on the tragedy - once condemned Beijing for killing students in 1989.