(Bloomberg) -- A museum commemorating the Communist Party’s deadly crackdown on students in Tiananmen Square will open on Friday in New York City, two years after a similar venture in Hong Kong was forced to close.
The project is the brainchild of prominent Chinese dissidents including Wang Dan, who was one of the key student leaders involved in the democracy protests which ended in bloodshed.
Artifacts on display relating to the events of 1989 will include flags, banners and a bloodied shirt worn by a reporter, along with boxes of newspaper clippings and other Tiananmen-related items donated by an individual in Hong Kong.
A similar museum in the Asian finance hub was forced to close in 2021 just days before the June 4 anniversary of events, after city authorities claimed it was in breach of licensing regulations. It never reopened. Officials later charged key organizers of Hong Kong’s once-annual Tiananmen vigil with inciting subversion under the national security law imposed by China the previous year.
Since then, library books on events surrounding the crackdown have been banned from shelves and several colleges, including the University of Hong Kong, have removed commemorative artworks.
Friday’s opening of the June 4th Massacre Memorial Museum, in rented premises, will be the culmination of an 18-month effort by organizers that raised at least $520,000 in donations.“We will continue to appeal for support in the future, hoping to raise enough funds to purchase a space and establish a permanent memorial museum,” said Wang.
Wang said he hoped there would be no differences between the museum in New York and its Hong Kong predecessor, although he acknowledged to the South China Morning Post newspaper that not so many mainland Chinese would be able to visit.
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