Mon, Mar 30, 2015 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Moving the Palace Museum

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) said that the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) Memorial Hall should be turned into a branch of the National Palace Museum and that the jade cabbage and other popular exhibits should be moved there. That is a great suggestion.

As a result of the weathering of the National Palace Museum following the onslaught of Chinese tourists, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has allocated NT$200 million to NT$300 million for expansion of the museum. However, Waishuangxi (外雙溪), the museum’s location, is in a narrow valley, which restricts the possibility of expansion.

The main problem is that there is no space to cater for the increasing numbers of vehicles. Today, the only thoroughfare in front of the museum has been turned into a parking lot, and an expansion of the museum is certain to bring even more cars, which would bring traffic to a standstill.

Building a basement and underground parking are important parts of the expansion plan, but the Waishuangxi faces the risk of flooding with extreme weather conditions becoming increasingly common. No one can guarantee that the underground areas would not get flooded.

This is why this “clever” plan, which pays no attention to any consequences, will only create more problems. Yao’s suggestion is a feasible alternative.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall covers a vast area, it is conveniently located and it could redirect the masses of people going to the National Palace Museum. With the addition of the museum’s Chiayi branch, there would not be any need to spend hundreds of millions of New Taiwan dollars on expanding the museum at Waishuangxi.

Furthermore, the existence and use of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall has always been a bone of contention among the public and between the government and the opposition parties. Many renowned international museums are located in old royal palaces.

Turning it into a branch of the National Palace Museum would be in line with international practice, and it would also further legitimize the building’s existence and minimize the risk of people throwing paint on it on emotional memorial days.

Jhang Shih-hsien

Taipei

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