05/06/2019, 13.13
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Museum dedicated to Tiananmen Massacre reopens

Hong Kong is the only place in China where Tiananmen is remembered. A vigil is held every year to remember the patriots killed on the night of 3 and 4 June 1989. Half of museum visitors are from mainland China.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/RFAR) – A Hong Kong museum commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen massacre reopened on 30 April after being closed for almost three years.

The June 4th Museum features photos and mementos of what happened on the night of 3 and 4 June 1989, when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) used guns and tanks against students and workers who had occupied Tiananmen Square for more than a month asking for greater democracy and the end of corruption.

According to the most conservative estimates, at least 2,000 people were killed, some crushed by tanks, others shot to death whilst fleeing.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China runs the museum. The first permanent collection opened in 2014, in Tsim Sha Tsui, a shopping area.

Soon enough, the building’s owners did everything to get rid of them. For the Alliance, this was politically motivated. In fact, self-censorship is increasing in Hong Kong as people try to avoid offending China.

Now the museum is open again, in the working-class district of Mong Kok, after closing in 2016. As its curators explain, its value lies in keeping alive the memory of what happened.

In mainland China it is impossible to find references, photos, or documents about that period and any attempt to show something connected with it is regularly punished.

Hong Kong is the only part of the People’s Republic of China where every year, on 4 June, a vigil is held to remember the patriots who fell victims to the massacre. The event is organised by the Alliance.

The latter’s definition of patriotism is different from that of the Chinese Communist Party, which branded the Tiananmen pro-democracy movement as "counter-revolutionary".

When it was open, the June 4th Museum drew at least 20,000 visitors a year, almost half of them from mainland China.

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