A museum commemorates modern China's painful past as the 50th anniverary of the start of the Cultural Revolution draws near. Masako Iijima reports.
No official events are planned for Monday to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of China's Cultural Revolution. The social-political movement launched in May 1966 followed a botched industrialization campaign where millions starved. It's a sensitive period in modern China's history. That's why this museum filled with relics from China's "Red Era", is one of a kind. From busts to badges, plates to posters - Chairman Mao and his vision are everywhere. Entrepreneur Fan Jianchuan opened the museum in 2005. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) MUSEUM OWNER FAN JIANCHUAN SAYING: "I have been always following this concept saying 'We don't speak, let the cultural relics talk'. Our nation's culture and its treasures need to be inherited. However, besides the inheritance of these cultural treasures, it is more important to hand down the nation's experience and the lessons learnt. That's what I have been doing over the past decades." For young Chinese, the curios and explanations are a history lesson not found in textbooks. Official records whitewash the details of the Cultural Revolution and The Great Leap Forward, saying only that Mao made major mistakes.