July 26 2002

MUSEUM OF MAN’S INQUISITION EXHIBIT RE-OPENS

Expanded Exhibit to Include “Torture Today” Addition

Working in conjunction with Amnesty International, the Survivors of Torture, International and San Diego Friends of Tibet, the San Diego Museum of Man has re-opened and expanded the most popular — and eye-opening — exhibit ever displayed in its more than 90-year history.

“Inquisition: Torture and Intolerance” — an exhibit on torture throughout the ages — re-opens Aug. 17, 2002, with a new component focusing on the reality of torture in the world today, including an interactive video and the compelling stories of modern-day torture survivors.

The newly expanded exhibit premieres Saturday, Aug. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a presentation by the Venerable Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was tortured and imprisoned by the Chinese for 33 years and whose story is showcased in the exhibit. Gyatso will speak about his experiences and display torture instruments smuggled out of China. Following the talk, he will officially unveil the exhibit with a blessing.

“Though the problems of Tibet, and of torture, seem remote and far away, when you meet Palden Gyatso, it suddenly becomes all too real,” says Dory Beatrice, coordinator of the San Diego Friends of Tibet. “He was imprisoned and tortured for many years, yet still conveys tremendous warmth and deep spirituality.”

According to the Museum of Man’s Javier Guerrero, this much-anticipated presentation is the first in a series of lectures and multimedia presentations that will take place for the duration of the newly revamped exhibit.

Guerrero says the exhibit from Italy was expanded in order to “draw the public’s attention to the continued and widespread use of torture throughout the world, as well as the organizations, groups and individuals working to eliminate the practice of torture.”

Visitors can learn about the use of modern-day torture implements and read the moving stories of those who have survived the horrors of torture, many of whom are part of the estimated 11,000 torture survivors living in San Diego today. An interactive video display tests visitors’ knowledge of torture practices throughout the world.

David Gangsei, the clinical director of Survivors of Torture, International, says his organization is “very pleased to collaborate with the Museum of Man on this important exhibit. Knowledge of the role of torture in today’s world and the movement to combat it will empower visitors to take action to protect human rights. In this way, it will provide support to the thousands of survivors living right here in San Diego.”

The cost for the lecture $5. Seating is limited. Viewing of the new torture component is free. Admission to the “Inquisition: Torture and Intolerance” exhibit is $8 for adults, $7 for visitors 65 and older and $5 for those 16 to 17 years old. he San Diego Museum of Man is an educational, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and display of the life and history of humankind. Headquartered in Balboa Park, the museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information call (619) 239-2001 or visit the website at www.museumofman.org.

San Diego Friends of Tibet is a volunteer organization which seeks to support the Tibetans’ nonviolent struggle for independence and self-determination, and to assist Tibetans-in-exile. They are part of an international network of Tibet Support Groups. For more information about San Diego Friends of Tibet call (619) 682-7188 or visit www.sdtibet.org.

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