It draws 500,000 visitors annually, according to Christina Schwenkel, who wrote about the museum in her 2009 book "The American War In Contemporary Vietnam: Transnational Remembrance and Representation." Foreigners comprise two-thirds of the visitors.
The museum's roots date back to 1975, when it was called the Exhibition House for U.S. and Puppet Crimes. The name was shortened to Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression in 1990, then changed again to War Remnants Museum in 1995, amid improving relations with the U.S. and increasing numbers of American visitors who sometimes complained about the choice of language.
Although its name has been toned down, the museum has been criticized for lacking balance by linking American soldiers to aggressive and criminal actions while neglecting atrocities committed on the North Vietnamese side.