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Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum reopens

Personal items from victims are on display

(CNN) - It's one of the most popular museums in Japan and an incredibly moving memorial to the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack of 1945.

Now, Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum has reopened after an extensive two-year renovation.

The restored space uses personal artifacts such as victims' clothing to underscore the human cost of the first deployment of what was then the most destructive weapon ever created.

Stories from survivors, some of whom are still alive, are also told in the exhibition, which creates a very emotional tribute to the estimated 140,000 who perished.

Many of the artifacts and materials now on display have been donated by survivors and bereaved families.

The museum originally opened in 1955 and in 2017 attracted nearly 1.7 million visitors.

Emotional experience

Travelers can also visit Hiroshima's Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park -- built on an open field created by the explosion in what was once the city's busiest commercial district. The city's annual August 6 Peace Memorial Ceremony is held here.

Nearby is the Atomic Bomb Genbaku Dome -- a structure that was once Hiroshima's Industrial Promotion Hall but now stands as one of the most familiar reminders of the attack.

When the bomb hit Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, it exploded almost directly above the building and left the dome's skeleton intact.

The wreckage became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

In May 2016, US President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum, using the occasion to call for a "world without nuclear weapons."


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