France: Gengis Khan exhibit postponed after attempted censorship

3 November 2020
Image: Statue of Gengis Khan in Mongolia / Flickr


12 October: A history museum in Nantes, France, decided to postpone an exhibition about Mongol emperor Gengis Khan to 2024 due to Chinese “censorial interference”, as reported by Hyperallergic.

The exhibit at the Château des ducs de Bretagne history museum was a collaboration with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China. It was planned for February 2021, but after a series of interventions by the Chinese authorities, the museum decided to postpone the show for three years. The museum’s director Bertrand Guillet said in a statement for the museum’s website that the Chinese interference is a result of a “hardening of the Chinese government’s stance this summer against the nation’s Mongolian minority”.

The museum further specified they decided to pause the production after the Beijing authorities demanded that names and terms such as “Gengis Khan”, “empire” and “Mongol” be removed from the exhibit. Furthermore, authorities requested power over brochures, legends, maps and to replace the exhibit synopsis by the one re-written by the National Administration of Cultural Heritage in Beijing. The museum director explained that the re-written piece “included elements of biased re-writing aimed at making Mongolian history and culture completely disappear for the benefit of a new national history.”

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