Hong Kong’s June 4th museum to preserve the memory of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre has re-opened online after being closed for over two months.

The Alliance was fined HK$8,000 last week for running the physical museum without a proper public entertainment licence. The museum was forced to close after three days after it re-opened on new premises in early June.

Hong Kong June 4th Museum
Photo: 8964museum.com.

The website, which went live on Wednesday, will be run by an independent team, according to its original operators at the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

The group said the measure was necessary citing “drastic changes” to Hong Kong’s political environment and “intensified political repression.”

The online museum was created thanks to donations of over HK$1.6 million from 1,186 donors. It presents archival images, a chronology and relics from the 1989 massacre, which saw hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people die when Beijing deployed its military to crack down on months of student-led, pro-democracy demonstrations on mainland China.

Hong Kong June 4th Museum
Photo: 8964museum.com.

The website was curated by Chinese dissident writer and journalist Chang Ping, who lived through the events leading up to the June 4 crackdown.

The online archive will also be updated and translated into multiple languages, the group said. It is currently available only in Chinese.

‘Preserving memory’

The Alliance said it hoped the digital archive will help preserve the heritage of resistance in China.

“We not only have to rescue memories and continue the promise, but also have to rebuild the discourse, and connect the history of China’s democracy movement with Hong Kong and the world’s history of resistance,” the group said on Wednesday.

June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre Victoria Park 2021 candles
People hold up candles in Causeway Bay on June 4, 2021. Photo: Jimmy Lam/HKFP.

The site was launched as critics fear authorities are moving to erase the memory of the massacre in Hong Kong.

The city’s annual candlelight vigil was banned for the second time in a row this year. The majority of the Alliance’s leaders have been arrested and kept behind bars facing charges relating to unauthorised assemblies.

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Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.