onsdag 14. oktober 2020

French museum halts Genghis Khan show after Chinese pressure

A French museum won backing from scholars on Tuesday for its decision to halt an exhibition about Mongol leader Genghis Khan because of a censorship attempt by the Chinese government. The history museum in the western French city of Nantes announced Monday that it was delaying the opening of the exhibition about the legendary founder of the 13th-Century Mongol Empire by more than three years.

Preparations for the show, planned in collaboration with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China, ran into trouble after the Chinese Bureau of Cultural Heritage pushed for changes to the original project plan, "including notably elements of biased rewriting of Mongol culture in favour of a new national narrative", the Nantes museum said. The Chinese authorities demanded that certain words, including "Genghis Khan," "Empire" and "Mongol" be removed from the exhibition, and later asked for control over exhibition texts, maps, brochures and communication, the museum said.

The dispute coincides with a tougher Chinese line against ethnic Mongols, who account for about 6.5 million of China's 1.4 billion inhabitants and mostly live in the northern province of Inner Mongolia.