New China Museum Fuels Tibetan Anger

Beijing gallery pushes official version of Chinese history
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 11:59 AM CDT
Buddhist monks and nuns chant as they walk around a temple to pray for Tibet Monday April 14, 2008 in Katmandu, Nepal. Several thousand Buddhist monks, nuns and Tibetan exiles gathered to call for freedom...   (AP Photo/Binod Joshi)
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(Newser) – China is accelerating construction of a number of museums ahead of August's Olympics, but one is sure to cause serious consternation: the first museum in Beijing devoted to Tibet. Antiquities and historical documents will be used to underline the claim that Tibet is an integral part of China, the New York Times reports—with the Dalai Lama edited out post-1959. 

From schoolchildren's lessons to tour guides' lectures, the Chinese government propounds an edited version of Tibetan history, and some dissenters have even found themselves imprisoned. "The problem for Beijing is that their presence on the Tibetan Plateau has never been legitimized," said one expert. "And their attempt to control history is an effort to do that."