A museum showcasing the history of Hong Kong’s media industry has opened at a historic building in Central.
The two-story Hong Kong News-Expo, located at the former Bridges Street Market, a Grade 3 historic building on 2 Bridges Street in Central, was conceived 10 years ago as one of the projects in a scheme to revitalize historic buildings in the city, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
It features more than 1,000 documents and artifacts that tell the story of how the news industry in Hong Kong has evolved over the past century.
The story is told through samples of newspapers and news clippings, multimedia interactive devices, experimental studios, media education workshops for young people, as well as a wide array of activities including special exhibitions, guided tours, seminars and workshops.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she was excited to have seen the historic building to be finally included in Batch III of the Revitalizing Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme for community revitalization, admitting that she forgot to list the building as one of the eight projects in the “Conserving Central” initiative that she initiated in 2009 when she was the development minister.
The HKNE not only injects new life into the historic building, which is part of Hongkongers’ collective memory, but will also carry out a new mission of serving the public, Lam said.
The ceremony was attended by senior government officials and prominent personalities in business, media and education, including PCCW Ltd. (00008.HK) chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai, representing the Li Ka-shing Foundation.
The chief executive said the opening of the HKNE comes at a time when the traditional news business is impacted by rapid changes in society and technology.
She said visitors to the museum can learn about the news media workers’ fervent desire to seek nothing but the truth.
Lam encouraged news media workers to keep up their efforts, quoting the words from the deceased Chinese martial arts novelist and Ming Pao co-founder Louis Cha Leung-yung, who once said that people are free to form opinions but fact must be held sacred.
After the ceremony, Lam toured the museum, saying it left a deep impression on her.
The museum, whose construction was supported by mainstream media outlets in Hong Kong, will only host group tours at the moment, but will accept online bookings for individual visits from the end of December.
HKNE chief executive Chan Siu-ping expressed appreciation for the donations of memorabilia, including old but valuable newspapers, for exhibition. These include copies of the Universal Circulating Herald published in 1878 and The China Mail published before the 1920s.
Members of the public may donate rare artifacts about Hong Kong journalism and media for exhibition or storage at the museum, Chan said.
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