By Liu Wan-chun and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Representatives from Academia Sinica and the National Museum of Taiwan History on Monday hold posters at a ceremony at the museum in Tainan to mark the handover of artifacts from the 2014 Sunflower movement.
Photo: Liu Wan-chun, Taipei Times
Items related to the 2014 Sunflower movement on Monday were given to the National Museum of Taiwan History in Tainan for preservation after two years of being sorted by Academia Sinica researchers.
The Sunflower movement refers to protesters who occupied the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber from the night of March 18 to April 10 to protest the-then Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade agreement.
About 7,200 items were gathered for the collection, including a duty log from the Ministry of the Interior recording its activities at the time and digital media files related to the movement, the museum said.
The “precious cultural relics” will be stored, added to the permanent collection and researched thoroughly to be shared with future generations, the museum said.
Other items in the collection include sticky notes with words of encouragement left by supporters, letters written by protesters, slogan banners, posters, records of announcements and written statements, said Academia Sinica Institute of Taiwan History director Hsieh Kuo-hsing (謝國興), who handed the collection over to museum director Margaret Wang (王長華).
Ministry of Culture Department of Cultural Resources head Chen Teng-chin (陳登欽) was at the handover event.
Given the tremendous quantity of items in the collection, it took two years to clean, organize and shelve them all, the museum said, adding that it used digital data to help with sorting.
Wang said that “today is tomorrow’s history,” adding that we should “preserve today’s tides of thought for future generations, so that they can understand how we made decisions.”
Wang said she hopes the Sunflower items will be preserved and made available for research.
Two years ago Academia Sinica itemized the artifacts and posted them on the collection’s Web site, (http://public.318.io) the museum said, adding that it is calling on netizens to help identify sticky notes, protest banners and written statements.
At the time of the Sunflower movement, many people were glued to their computer screen watching updates as events unfolded, Chen said, adding that in the future the museum will be challenged to not only collect physical artifacts, but also those from the digital world.
The museum on Monday held an informal discussion inviting the Academia Sinica research team who worked on the collection, broadcasters and authors to speak with museum curators about the preservation and research of items from current events, and about the “new interactive relationship” between the museum and society.
Wang Hsin-yun (王信允), who headed the research team, said that Academia Sinica is not the ideal place to store cultural artifacts, adding that he appreciates the support of academics who helped transfer the collection to the museum.
Wang said that he is happy that the public could be brought onboard with the identification and annotation of the items.
Sunflower movement spokesman Shih I-lun (施懿倫) said it is fortunate that the collection could be saved from damage by the elements and even studied by academics.
“In comparison, items from Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella movement’ were saved by members of the Hong Kong public,” Shih said, adding that he hopes Taiwan and Hong Kong can cooperate on preservation and research of items from protest movements.