Hong Kong's M+ museum opens amid censorship controversy

Posted at 4:39 AM, Nov 11, 2021

Hong Kong’s swanky new M+ museum is Asia’s largest gallery with a billion-dollar collection set to open on Friday.

The museum boasts 183,000 square feet of space, 33 galleries and over 6,400 works in its collection that range from modern art to architecture.

It's built to rival London’s Modern Tate and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The opening comes more than 10 years after the South China Morning Post reports that Hong Kong's legislative council presented M+ as “a museum first and foremost for the people of Hong Kong.”

However, in recent years, China has moved to reclaim more control over the once-autonomous city — instituting new censorship laws the critics say threaten freedom of speech in Hong Kong.

The museum has come under fire for censorship after it removed a piece by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei following criticism that it was spreading hatred against China and could violate the city’s sweeping national security law.

The work titled “Study of Perspective: Tian’anmen (1997)” depicts Ai raising a middle finger at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the site of the bloody 1989 crackdown on protesters.