Visitors on Monday flocked to the world’s only museum dedicated to the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on its last day as organisers vowed to reopen it within a year. The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China has decided to close down the June 4 memorial located in Foo Hoo Centre – a Tsim Sha Tsui tower block – after the building’s owners’ corporation staged a legal battle and adopted measures hindering its operation that the alliance believed were “politically motivated”. “Although the closure of this museum at this particular venue is permanent, I can assure you a new museum will soon be reopened, hopefully within one year,” Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the alliance, said. Taiwan holds first Tiananmen commemoration in parliament Set up in 2014, the June 4 Museum was soon locked in a protracted legal battle with the owners’ corporation, which argued the floors could not be used for exhibition purposes, in line with the building’s deeds. The alliance said it was odd for the corporation’s chairman, Stanly Chau Kwok-chiu, to pour his own – and “unlimited” – financial resources into the litigation, and a member of the corporation once admitted political considerations were behind their objections. The corporation asked visitors to register their identity card or travel document on entering the building, a move which drove away many mainland visitors. “All these made this museum rather difficult to sustain and so after detailed deliberation, I thought it was time to put an end to the litigation,” Ho said. He added he believed the corporation would continue the legal battle even if the alliance won the case in the Court of First Instance. The alliance has decided to sell the property and use the money to buy a more spacious place on a lower floor which would not rely on the use of elevators and would have fewer fire safety risks – issues raised by the owners’ corporation. Voices from Tiananmen: Eyewitnesses look back to the spring of 1989 Despite its short-lived existence, Ho said their perseverance sent a very strong message to Beijing and the world that they would “never give up” on the cause. The museum has received 24,124 visitors since 2014 though turnout dropped by 66 per cent last year. It is launching a crowdfunding drive to raise an extra HK$3 million for the relocation. Among those who flooded to the museum on Monday was Chong Yong-yee from Malaysia. She said the place not only educated people but also encouraged visitors to think about Hong Kong’s future. A mainland visitor who refused to be named said the exhibition had provided him with a better understanding of the crackdown, which was not available back home.