June 4 vigil in Hong Kong

HK$3 million crowdfunding campaign for June 4 memorial museum

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China want to move the museum from its current site in Foo Hoo Centre

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 April, 2016, 4:50pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 April, 2016, 4:50pm

A pro-democracy group has launched a crowdfunding campaign to relocate the June 4 memorial museum.

The campaign, by The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, came as the alliance decided to close the museum at its current site by the end of the year.

Opened in 2014 in Foo Hoo Centre - a Tsim Sha Tsui tower block - the June 4 Museum has been engaged in a protracted legal battle with the owners’ corporation, who say the floors cannot be used for memorial or exhibition purposes under the building’s deed.

The incorporated owners also require all visitors to the museum to register their personal information.

Chairman of the alliance Albert Ho Chun-yan said since the outcome of the litigation is “highly unpredictable”, the alliance decided to shut the museum at the current site to avoid wasting resources and time.

Chairman of the alliance Albert Ho Chun-yan said: “[Due to the registration arrangement] quite a lot of mainland visitors have been inhibited from coming because they don’t want to be identified. This inhibition has also been extended to many mainland students studying in Hong Kong.”

He added that when the museum first opened, around half of the visitors were from across the border, but the figure has since dropped to around 30 per cent this year.

The group hopes to raise HK$3 million from the campaign to relocate the exhibition.

Together with the money from the sale of the current site, the alliance aims to find a bigger venue for the museum.

Ho said with a bigger site, they would be able to provide educational talks at the museum, which the alliance have not been able to do due to limited space, in addition to hosting the exhibition.

The chairman added that they are looking for a site which is located on the ground floor, so as to avoid potential problems of visitors being asked to register again.

The alliance, meanwhile, also announced that they have applied to Unesco to add documents from the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown to its Memory of the World Register.

“If the [June 4 incident] can be included in the list… then people, no matter where they are from, will not forget this piece of history,” Ho said.

Earlier, 10 local university student unions announced plans to hold an alternative June 4 commemoration assembly to the candle light vigil in Victoria Park.

Ho said he welcomed the students’ plan, stressing that what is more important is that young people would continue to commemorate the crackdown.

“It doesn’t matter if some people go to the alternative commemoration... It’s just that people are more spread out. The most important part is the total number of people commemorating June 4 in Hong Kong,” Ho said.