No place for anti-extradition protests in new history museum exhibit, authorities decide

Hong Kong Museum of History. Photo via Wiki Commons
Hong Kong Museum of History. Photo via Wiki Commons

A new exhibition at the government-run Hong Kong Museum of History will not showcase the months-long protests that began last year.

“Hong Kong Story,” a permanent exhibition at the museum, will close next Monday for an “extensive revamp,” the website states. The exhibition, which currently only covers events before the the 1997 handover, occupies 7,000 meter square in the museum and comprises eight galleries.

The exhibition is slated to re-open in 2020 with the protests, which began last summer over an ill-fated extradition bill but morphed into a wider display of anti-government sentiment, conspicuously absent.

The street demonstrations only halted early this year due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and the movement is arguably the biggest political episode to rock Hong Kong in the past two decades.

According to RTHK, the new exhibition will however include nods to the 2014 Occupy Central protests calling for universal suffrage, as well as the 2003 SARS crisis.

The South China Morning Post reported in 2018, when the exhibition revamp was first announced, that the new galleries would also feature the July 1 march in 2003 which saw 500,000 people take to the streets to oppose proposed national security laws. The revamp will cost around HK$466 million (US$60 million).

The “Hong Kong Story” exhibit opened in 2001 with galleries including “The Opium Wars and the Cession of Hong Kong,” “The Japanese Occupation” and “Modern Metropolis and The Return to China,” according to a government press release.

At the time, the then-Chief Secretary for Administration, Donald Tsang, said the exhibition shows the Hong Kong’s “unique natural and cultural heritage.”

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