Hong Kong museum opened amid concern over opening delay

Image copyright M+ Image caption The existing Hong Kong Museum of Art is seen as the main rival of the M+ A new museum housing 2,700 items of artefacts from China opened in Hong…

Hong Kong museum opened amid concern over opening delay

Image copyright M+ Image caption The existing Hong Kong Museum of Art is seen as the main rival of the M+

A new museum housing 2,700 items of artefacts from China opened in Hong Kong amid speculation that the opening may be delayed until further investigations are carried out.

The wait for the £150m Hong Kong Museum of Art (M+) to open has already lasted more than four years.

Construction was halted twice in 2016, when a local newspaper report that former Beijing vice-mayor and city pro-democracy politician turned lawmaker Regina Ip had helped get it built sparked new concerns about its control.

It is due to open on 28 September.

Unions and lawyers in Hong Kong have warned against major state control.

“M+ is an important cultural project for a thriving China,” said New South China Morning Post editorial.

“China’s relative success in redeveloping Hong Kong while maintaining personal freedoms shows how a thriving market economy can work in tandem with a strong state.”

M+ is aimed at exposing Hong Kong’s “passive” knowledge of China and carving it up into the “multiple” cultures, according to museum director Anders Povlsen.

Image copyright M+ Image caption M+ director Anders Povlsen is pictured leaving his office on Friday

“That’s what is missing in Hong Kong’s museum programmes,” Mr Povlsen said.

One notable piece in the new collection is China’s imperial-era sunflowers, acquired by British museum from the ancient imperial garden of Xiayin, Hebei province.

Other prized pieces in the museum include imperial ceramic bowls, glass bead shell objects and porcelain inlaid with images of the Buddha and other deities.

Hong Kong is currently home to one of the largest private collections of Chinese imperial objects in the world, second only to Japan’s.

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