Hong Kong’s June 4 museum finally reopened in Mong Kok on Friday after being closed for more than two years, with a feature that encourages visitors to experience the annual vigil through virtual reality.
The date of the reopening marks the 30th anniversary of a People’s Daily editorial on April 26, 1989, which stated the government would not tolerate the then nascent student movement. The movement would be repressed in the Tiananmen Square crackdown five weeks later.
“This is a small museum but it contains a lot of important memories,” said Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.
“We hope in the times to come, there will be visitors from Hong Kong, from mainland China and all over the world. We have to work together in solidarity to fight for justice, peace and the future of our country,” Ho said at the museum, located in Ngai Wong Commercial Building on Mong Kok Road.
New additions to the museum included a virtual reality exhibition allowing visitors to experience the June 4 candlelight vigil at Victoria Park. Items belonging to victims and survivors of the crackdown, as well as photos and videos documenting the 1989 democracy movement, would also be on display.
The site was vandalised earlier this month but that did not delay the reopening, Ho said. During renovations, museum staff reported to police the padlock on the door had been removed and saltwater had been poured into more than 10 electric socket points.
“We had to call the subcontractors right away to fix it but fortunately we made it and we were able to open the museum on time,” said Ho.
“Since then security measures had been put in place. We have replaced the locks, installed cameras and have security staff stationed here around the clock,” Ho said.
Ho believed the act of vandalism was politically motivated with the intention of delaying the museum’s opening.
On Friday, around 20 people gathered outside the building to protest against the museum’s opening.
The alliance has had a difficult time in recent years finding a permanent location for the June 4 Museum.
The alliance bought a unit in the Foo Hoo Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui to house the museum in 2014. Over the next two years the group was caught up in lawsuits with the commercial centre’s owners’ corporation over the use of the space.
The alliance sold the property and the museum closed in July 2016. Later, the alliance set up temporary exhibitions at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei for a short period in late 2017 and early 2018.
This article Hong Kong Tiananmen memorial museum reopens in Mong Kok after almost three-year hiatus first appeared on South China Morning Post