A close of photograph showing a person's eye and seen through clear glass reflecting the image of a gallery exhibit.

Hong Kong’s Tiananmen museum shuts down amid investigation

The Hong Kong museum commemorating China’s deadly 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests closed Wednesday three days after opening as the ruling Communist Party tries to stamp out the last traces of public discussion of the event.

Associated Press
Updated on

An eye of an activist shown on a TV screen and a picture depicting a man blocking a line of tanks at the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing are displayed at the "June 4 Memorial Museum" run by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong on Sunday, May 30, 2021.

Vincent Yu/AP

Update: The Hong Kong museum commemorating China’s deadly 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests closed Wednesday three days after opening as the ruling Communist Party tries to stamp out the last traces of public discussion of the event.

Original below:

The organizer of Hong Kong's annual Tiananmen Square candlelight vigil has opened its yearly exhibit of photographs and paraphernalia from the bloody 1989 crackdown in Beijing on those calling for democracy in China.

The opening comes even as Hong Kong authorities have for the second year in a row banned the annual June 4 vigil, which normally draws tens of thousands of people into the streets. Authorities have cited the risk of the coronavirus, though the cancelation coincides with a broader crackdown on political activism and dissent in the city.

A man is shown wearing shorts and a t-shirt and standing in front of Tiananmen Square artifacts both hanging on the wall and on a mannequin.

A staff member adjusts exhibits at the "June 4 Memorial Museum" run by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

Organized by the The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, the museum each year shows photographs from the 1989 democracy movement as well as pictures from past candlelight commemorations in Hong Kong.

A blue color screen shows a man standing on top of a tank.

An image on a TV screen and a picture on the wall both showing a man blocking a line of tanks at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

This year, visitors to the museum will also be able to lay flowers in remembrance of the victims who lost their lives in the massacre that took place on June 4, 1989.

A wall of photographs showing hundreds of people gathered and holding up lit candles.

Pictures for past years of people gathered during a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park are displayed at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

For decades, the semi-autonomous Chinese cities of Hong Kong and Macao were the only places in China where public commemoration of the crackdown was allowed. Authorities in Macao have also canceled their vigil for a second year.

An image of China President Xi Jinping depicted on a red background is shown is shown through glass that's reflecting other Tiananmen Square artifacts.

An image of China President Xi Jinping is shown on a TV screen at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

Despite the ban, thousands still turned up last year in Hong Kong's Victoria Park to light candles and sing songs. Later, police arrested more than 20 activists who were charged with taking part in an unauthorized assembly.

Two people are shown in a doorway with a poster with the words "June 4 Memorial Museum" printed on it.

The "June 4 Memorial Museum" which commemorates the June 4, 1989, crackdown in Beijing, reopened Sunday, in advance of this year's anniversary.

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

The crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong followed months of anti-government protests that roiled the former British colony in 2019 and shook leaders back in Beijing.

A man is shown wearing a white t-shirt, face mask and glasses while standing in front of a large wall-sized photograph depicting the Goddess of Democracy statue.

A man walks past a backdrop of a Goddess of Democracy statue at the Tiananmen Square at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

Two people are shown wearing protective face masks and looking at a photograph of a man blocking a row of four tanks.

A picture showing a man blocking a line of tanks at the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing is displayed at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

A photograph of a man blocking a line of four tanks in a street is shown hanging with other photographs and newspaper clippings.

A picture showing a man blocking a line of tanks at the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing is displayed at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

A chart shows the yearly attendence of a candlelight vigil with different sized illustrated candles starting with the year 1990.

A board showing the number of people attending the annual candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in past years is displayed at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

A newspaper clipping is shown in the background with a person in the near ground wearing a facemask and glasses is shown in blurred focus.

A 1989 newspaper on the crackdown of the June 4, 1989, pro-democracy movement in Beijing's Tiananmen Square is displayed at the "June 4 Memorial Museum."

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

A person is shown with a bag over their shoulder and standing next to an silver artwork of a woman holding a torch with flame.

A visitor stands next to a cutout of a Goddess of Democracy at the "June 4 Memorial Museum" run by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

By Zen Soo/AP