Occupation Museum backs out of 'Hong Kong Way' exhibition

A planned exhibition to show parallels between the 'Baltic Way' of 1989 and the 'Hong Kong Way' of 2019 has been cancelled, organizers told LSM August 20.

As previously reported, the exhibition at the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia titled “1989 Baltics | 2019 Hong Kong” was due to open on August 23. Initiated by Iverson Ng, a Hong Kong-born Estonian columnist with the Postimees newspaper, it was to be part of a series of exhibitions opening in Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius simultaneously.

However, Iverson Ng told LSM: 

"I must inform you with regret that the deputy director of the museum unilaterally cancelled the exhibition as she sent an email at 7pm this Tuesday. As a courtesy, I tried to call the museum on multiple occasions and sent them follow up emails to seek proper explanations but it appears that the museum refused to justify why it risked its reputation to cancel the exhibition at the last minute. 

"As we have been working on it in the past two months with all texts (both English and Latvian) and photos (I even paid for the Baltic Way photos from the Latvian National Archive), I believe that the Latvian audience deserves to learn about the HK Way and its connections with Latvia," he said.

An email from Taiga Kokneviča, Deputy Director of the Museum, seen by LSM, says the two parties "had not fully agreed on the terms of the exhibition" and "did not really understand each other's intentions and ideas."

"On August 23, the Occupation Museum considers it its task to remind the public about the tragic consequences of the Hitler-Stalin Pact concluded in 1939 for the land and people of Latvia. This is not the time to bring other issues to the fore when using the museum premises," Kokneviča said.

August 21 also sees the end of an exhibition on the museum premises marking 13 years since the Georgia-Russia war of 2008.

The Museum has been asked to comment on its reasons for cancelling the Hong Kong exhibition.

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