June 4 museum goes online in wake of ban

Local | Leung Pak-hei 5 Aug 2021

An online June 4 museum launched yesterday tells the tale of those who died in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, replete with timelines, pictures and infographics.

The 8964 Museum website opened yesterday after authorities in June banned the Mong Kok museum run by the Hong Kong Alliance In Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China on the grounds that it did not have an exhibition license.

It would only reopen, the alliance said, when a viable solution is found.

The alliance said fundraising for the online museum began on June 4, 2000. It received over HK$1.6 million in donations from more than 1,100 donors between June and August last year, all of which had been invested in setting up the online museum.

Visitors are given some idea of the toll suffered in the crackdown, with the number of deaths put at between 3,000 and 10,000 according to various sources, as well as photos and backgrounds of the students and civilians who were killed.

Also laid out is a timeline of key events in the 1989 democratic movement in the mainland and infographics detailing the military crackdown.

Hong Kong's commemorations of June 4 hold a special place, including the annual vigil in Victoria Park, and a brief history of the SAR's democratic movement, from the 2003 protests against a Basic Law article 23 anti-subversion law push and Occupy Central in 2014 to the 2019 anti-extradition bill movement.

The online museum is run by a curating team separate from the alliance. Chang Ping, a mainland journalist who witnessed June 4, was invited to form a global team.

Content will be translated into foreign languages in the future, and exhibitions organized on special dates.

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