By Tenzin Monlam
Lobsang Sangay, President of Central Tibetan Administration speaks during the celebration of 40th International Museum Day at the Tibet Museum near Tsuglagkhang, Mcleod Ganj on May 18, 2017. Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, May 18: As a part of 40th International Museum Day, the Tibet Museum near Tsuglagkhang in Mcleod Ganj today celebrated the day with an aim to portray the actual situation in Tibet and to counter the Chinese claim of Tibet being part of its motherland through history.
With this year’s theme ‘Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums’ aimed at highlighting how ‘acceptance of a contested history is the first step in envisioning a shared future under the banner of reconciliation’. The Tibet Museum through its exhibits aims to correct the false claims of Beijing and spread awareness on the reality of Tibet.
Attending as the chief guest Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President (Sikyong) of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said, “We regard museum as very important because facts and truths about Tibet is displayed in the museum. There is a Chinese version, they have huge museums whith falsehoods and present untrue historical narratives.”
The Harvard-educated President of the Central Tibetan Administration further added, “What we want to have is a true narrative of Tibet’s history and Tibetan political situation in Tibet now. Hence we participate in it and through this museum day we try to create awareness among international community and also to tourist and people who come to Dharamshala.”
Celebrating the day for the third year under International Council of Museum, the Tibet Museum’s Director, Tashi Phuntsok said that despite the strong and unrivaled propaganda mechanism of China on presenting false Tibetan history, the Tibet Museum is working hard to counter those false claims of Beijing.
“There are many museums in Tibet portraying false representations of Tibet. People who have been to Tibet share what they have seen in those museums, which is completely opposite of what we have here. So this gives them a platform to examine and rectify the reality,” Tashi Phuntsok said at the event also participated by TCV students.
With a footfall over 80,000 people annually, the museum acts as a catalyst to spreading awareness on the actual situation inside Tibet. Sikyong said he feels that the false claims laid by Beijing would be able to be countered through museum displaying the real situation inside Tibet.
The two-day event from May 18-19 includes guided tours of the exhibition ‘A Long Look Homeward’ and ‘Capturing Tibet’, talk sessions on political situation in Tibet, on environment of Tibet and Tibetan modern art.