museum of chinese in america

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The museum was the backdrop of a protest against the museum’s board co-chair Jonathan Chu, a prominent Chinatown landlord who is being blamed for the closure of a beloved dim sum restaurant and the loss of jobs.

The exhibit curated by MOCA and the Center For Jewish History focuses on the work of Emile Bocian, a largely unknown photojournalist who died in 1990 and took tens of thousands of photos of Asian New Yorkers.

The homecoming also allows the museum to celebrate its 40th anniversary in a year marked by the pandemic, rising anti-Asian sentiment, and financial crisis of the city and one of its most iconic neighborhoods.

“I think this is real. I mean, $80 million,” Chinatown Councilmember Margaret Chin said.

The fire damage has been deemed so extensive as to render the building at 70 Mulberry unsalvageable, and the city is planning to demolish by hand the top three floors in May and June.

The former school building was the site of a five-alarm fire in January that destroyed its upper floors.

The president of MOCA said 200 boxes have been recovered from the 85,000-item archives inside fire-ravaged Chinatown building.

Historical materials ranged from ticket stubs from turn-of-the-century local theaters to menus documenting the historical changes in Chinatown's restaurants.

The MOCA President said the museum archives had nearly 85,000 historical items stored at 70 Mulberry Street.