Following a months-long closure, the first museum dedicated to Tiananmen Square will reopen in Hong Kong in anticipation of the twentieth anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over the territory from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China, AFP reports.
The museum was allegedly shut down last year for operating in a building that was designated for office space, though museum staff maintains that it was closed due to political reasons. The opening of its new, temporary venue will coincide with a visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping.
“It’s very important that this museum will be here to tell [Xi] in his face that people in Hong Kong have not forgotten what had happened twenty-eight years ago when the Communist Party decided to open fire and send in tanks against the people’s aspiration for freedom,” organizer Lee Cheuk-yan said.
On June 4, 1989, in an effort to suppress student-led pro-democracy protests, branded a “counter-revolutionary rebellion,” Chinese authorities opened fire on demonstrators. While an official count of how many people were killed that day was never released, it is estimated at more than one thousand. According to social worker Regan Suen, the reopening of the institution is significant because “Hong Kong is the only place in China that can act as a platform for people to comprehend this part of history.”