In Tallin, Estonia, a museum has been opened dedicated to books from around the world that have been banned, burned, or censored. The project was spearheaded by Joseph Maximillian Dunnigan, originally from Scotland, but has lived in Estonia for the past five years while studying at Tallinn University. Dunnigan had previously lived in China, where he became interested in censorship and freedom of speech. During his studies for a master’s in social entrepreneurship, Dunnigan decided to create the museum.
“In the museum, books from different parts of the world will be exhibited to tell their stories and discuss issues related to the free expression of ideas,” said a statement from the museum.
“In addition, the aim is to conduct initial research on the history of censorship in Estonia, focusing on the period of Soviet occupation. In the museum, visitors can read books, touch them, read them and buy most of them.”
As Estonian World reports, books are sorted by category, and there are books that have been banned from many different countries, including the UK, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States. There is also a section highlighting books that have been burned throughout history for numerous reasons.
“With the museum, we want to raise people’s awareness of the long history of censorship and the importance of freedom of speech. Freedom of thought and expression is not a universally accepted human right to this day. I am happy to contribute to the dissemination of freedom of speech with the museum,” said Dunnigan
“Estonia is an ideal place for such a project, because here we can present books that are still banned in so many big countries.”
If you happen to be in Estonia, you can visit the museum every Friday and Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM.