Sat, Mar 03, 2007 - Page 1 News List

CKS Memorial Hall the latest to be rechristened

`A NEW ERA' After the premier announced that the perimeter wall would be demolished, news leaked that the Cabinet had decided upon the hall's new name

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

A closed-door Cabinet meeting presided over by Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) yesterday ended with an agreement to rename the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall the "Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall," Cabinet spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) told the Taipei Times.

Managed by the Ministry of Education, the hall and its environs will be renamed to honor the country's democratic development, Cheng said.

"Any redesign of the park or buildings will reflect the country's openness, not past authoritarian rule," he said.

Director of the education ministry's Department of Social Education, Chu Nan-hsien (朱楠賢), said by phone last night that no timeline had been agreed on to implement the changes, adding that a removal of late dictator Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) statue hadn't been discussed. Chu's department oversees the memorial.

Asked if Chiang's statue would be removed, Cheng replied, "That falls under the education ministry's jurisdiction."

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told reporters yesterday that the white-washed wall surrounding the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall park would be demolished, but didn't mention a timetable for the changes.

"It's a new era -- an open era," Su said. "Imagine a more transparent, beautiful space instead of a barrier."

According to an education ministry statement, the park surrounding the memorial would be renamed "Taiwan Democracy Park," while the Construction and Planning Agency would begin to form a task force to discuss the tearing down of the wall and submit a report on such a project within the month.

"It won't be smashed and chipped down like the Berlin Wall," Chu said.

In addition to construction agency and education officials, officials from the Public Construction Commission and the Council for Economic Planning and Development also attended yesterday's meeting, the release said.

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