Fate Catches Up to a Cultural Revolution Museum in China

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tags: China, Cultural Revolution, Cultural Revolution Museum



The idea to build China’s first museum dedicated to the Cultural Revolution — the political campaign begun by Mao Zedong that killed more than a million people — was always risky.

Yet Peng Qi’an, a former local Communist Party official and the museum’s founder, spent two decades scraping together donations from private individuals and local government departments to create the Cultural Revolution Museum, which opened in the rolling hills of the Chenghai Pagoda Scenic Area in 2005.

Amid yellow pagodas pointing heavenward, Mr. Peng and a small group of volunteers built memorial arches across the park’s steep roads and paths lined with riotous subtropical vegetation. The site, in the Chenghai district of Shantou, was an appropriate place for memory — Buddhist pagodas are associated with the dead, and many local victims of the Cultural Revolution lie here, many buried in mass graves.




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