Tuesday, May 04, 2010

2-28 Museum closed?

The 2-28 museum has been quietly closed for upgrading, and is due to reopen in Jan of 2011. The website says:


Scary to think what might happen to the museum under a KMT government. Taiwanreporter, with the same thought, has put up many pictures of the museum on Facebook in case there are wholesale changes.

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Anonymous said...

The KMT has been out to get that museum for a long time.

During Ma's mayorship he tried to shift the focus away from 228 and the fight for democracy, to a message of mutual strife and reconciliation between taiwanese and Mainlanders.

Later, under the first year of the Hao administration the city drew up plans to eliminate the section pertaining to the fight for democracy and focus mainly on 228.

The successive KMT administrations have held feature exhibitions on the woman who sparked 228 and the story on how she married a Mainlander. They also used the space to promote Chinese culturalism with displays on Chinese masks, calligraphy and other state symbols of Chineseness.

Anonymous said...

To continue a little bit.

Following the Lee administration the KMT has attempted to replace the symbols of 228 with symbols of reconciliation and "forgiveness". By doing so they hope to remove the event from national consciousness and eliminate it as a meme for ethnic violence in Taiwan. 228 memorials have grown more and more muted since the Ma and Hao administrations took power.

The KMT narrative of "mutual victimhood" and "moving on" is a paternalistic attempt to force reconciliation without calling the KMT to account for the murders of tens of thousands. The KMT has never reconciled with Taiwanese on the issue.

228 has grown through its very suppression to symbolize ethnic violence and imagined state violence. Even people who are unclear of the actual events of 228 and its aftermath all understand what 228 represents.

The KMT is actually attempting to accept the non-apology on behalf of the Taiwanese themselves while pretending that the ethnic violence the KMT created does have far reaching repercussions for ethnic division in terms of class, opportunity and access to power.

Taiwanese can not reconcile with the KMT until the KMT actually accepts its role in 228 and makes concrete actions to bring justice to Taiwan. Until then 228 will remain a necessary symbol.

Anonymous said...

I hardly think closed for upgrading is cause for concern.

Anonymous said...

Re. 228, I have always wondered how it came to be known as "二二八事件" (in English: The 228 Incident).

Doesn't using the words "incident" and "事件" to describe it seem to make it sound like a single incident that happened on a single day in February 1947?

...instead of a months-long massacre that opened a decades-long period of human rights abuse by a one-party police-state?

Could closing the museum be one way of reacting to the opening of the movie "Formosa Betrayed"?


Michael Turton said...

I hardly think closed for upgrading is cause for concern.

What happened to the prison where they kept detainees after it was upgraded?

Nathan said...

The 228 Foundation has also been contorlled by Ma since last year.

Check it's President and CEO now...

Klaus said...

You mean Jingmei Prison? I've visited it before and after the "remodelling", and written about my impressions:

While my worst fears were not confirmed, there have been some significant changes.

les said...

Did the Taiwan Garrison Command ever actually release it's list of those killed during the White Terror period?

Anonymous said...

I can totally understand why the KMT would oppose the "Democracy" section of the 228 museum.

The "Democracy" section is unfair to the KMT as it gives the impression that the Chinese Nationalist Party and many of its Central Standing Committee members were opposed to democracy, curtailed civil liberties, used state power to jail the opposition, trampled human rights, murdered innocent civilians for the sake of absolute power and sought to maintain a an imbalanced system of rights and representation on Taiwan.

We all know that is just unfair to the KMT and totally ridiculous. It is just one "opinion".

Anonymous said...

What happened to the prison where they kept detainees after it was upgraded?

They expanded it to take into account a wider view of human rights. That's a good thing. If the upgrade to 228 proceeds in a similar way, that too will be a positive step for Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

Then there's that 228 museum on 南海路 in the old AIT building a few blocks west of CKS MRT station... What's up with that?

I watched them renovate it, and I went there when it was opened... back before Ma was elected.

After Ma was elected...it closed up... and they started renovating it AGAIN... and it was closed for a year or so.... and probably still is closed.

I think I get it now. They can close a museum for YEARS if they are RENOVATING or updating it, etc. without actually having to say "we closed it."

Whatever they are doing to it, the end result is that it is remains closed indefinitely.

And some contractor with good connections at city hall gets an open-ended contract.


Klaus said...


This other 228 Museum is/was the "National" one, managed by the 228 Fondation (www.228.org.tw). The one in 228 Peace Park is municipal (http://228.culture.gov.tw/web/web-eng/museum/museum-2.htm)

Back in 2007, David visited the one on 南海路:

Then in 2009, the Taipei Times wrote on it:

Quote: "The 228 Memorial Foundation plans to open its national 228 memorial museum in 2011 with the goal of presenting the “honest” truth behind the 228 Incident free from political bias, foundation chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said yesterday.

The museum, located on Nanhai Road (南海路) where the American Institute in Taiwan’s culture and information section used to stand, will be a place for the victims of the 228 Incident and their families, Chan said.

The venue will also be used to hold memorial services or concerts, he said, adding that the foundation would work on projects with Taipei City’s 228 Memorial Museum."

And in 2010, again the TT:

Quote: "Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義),(...) said that after he was sworn in as premier in September, he asked the ­legislature to approve a NT$300 million (US$9.3 ­million) budget to renovate the national 228 memorial museum.

The legislature has since passed the measure.

The 228 Memorial Foundation planned to open the national 228 memorial museum next year to present the “honest” truth behind the “228 Incident” free from political bias, he said."

Bottom line: In 2011, both museums will probably reopen with an "unbiased" emphasis. Like, tell the murderers' POV, too? I wonder...

Anonymous said...

Taiwan's own little Bitburg