With nothing to indicate its location, aside from a listing on the lobby directory, there's no clue for passers-by that it houses the
Yet a steady stream of visitors, many from mainland
The protests remain a taboo topic in mainland
"The world memory of it is fading and the younger generation doesn't know of it in
Lee said the museum aims to challenge the
His group, the Hong Kong Alliance In Support of Democratic Patriotic Movements in
"We are confident about our legal position," Lee said.
Committee members could not be reached for comment. But committee member
The museum, just 75 square meters (800 square feet), is hidden away on the fifth floor of the nondescript Foo Hoo Center in
Staffers say they see about 200 visitors a day on weekdays and 500 on weekends. About half are mainland Chinese.
The museum features a timeline of events, black-and-white news photos of scenes from those tumultuous days, including the famous shot of "tank man" — the lone protester who stood in front of a line of tanks.
Archival news footage of the student leaders is broadcast continuously on a computer tablet mounted on a wall. Another tablet shows a documentary in English. Nearly all the other exhibits are in Chinese.
A labyrinthine layout reflects "the maze which is the
Visitors walking down an L-shaped section turn into a brightly lit passageway before emerging in front of a two-meter (six-foot) tall replica of the "Goddess of Democracy" statue that was famously erected by the protesters in
"Entrance into turbulence, through the maze of chaos and exit onto democratic light," the website says.
A small screening room shows video interviews with parents talking about their sons or daughters killed in the square.
The museum's collection of 100 artifacts, 16,000 photos, 33 rolls of microfilm and hundreds of books and magazines will be rotated regularly. Visitors can write messages of support on a narrow chalkboard running the length of the wall.
Souvenirs on sale include USB memory sticks — some unmarked, others with logos — loaded with photos and documents and videos on the crackdown, as well as T-shirts, mugs and miniature "Goddess of Democracy" statues.
"Everyone should come to see history, to view the truth because the Chinese government has been concealing the truth. They do not have the guts to face history," said Leung, 42.
"Nowadays in fact, mainland people in public situations, even so-called intellectuals at lectures, will skip over this part of history," said Wei, 35, who as a boy was only dimly aware of what happened during and after the protests. He said his interest grew at university, where has was able to find more information on the school's internal network.
He said he was disappointed that officials had tried to sweep the protests under the rug.
"These events happened," Wei said. "It is a fact. But you can't treat it as if it didn't happen."
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