Wed, Apr 16, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Legislature’s repair costs lower than estimated: group

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

A student walks behind a statue of Republic of China founding father Sun Yat-sen with a sunflower on its head on Wednesday last week, the day before protesters ended their occupation of the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber in Taipei.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

The cost of repairing the Legislative Yuan following the student-led occupation of its main chamber in response to the cross-strait service trade agreement is much lower than the NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) claimed by some, a group of experts said.

The Space Team (空間團) said it had spent three days — from Tuesday to Thursday last week — examining the legislative chamber and found that its evaluation differed greatly from previous estimates.

The group of professors, architects, interior design and renovation company chiefs, technicians and Cultural Heritage Committee members was formed on April 8 to help evaluate the damage caused by the occupation of the Legislative Yuan compound in Taipei.

The team said the group aimed to assess the “real” damage and financial losses incurred by the protesters’ occupation and therefore ensure the public’s right to such information.

During the three days more than 100 experts surveyed, mapped and evaluated the chamber, the group said.

They took more than 1,000 pictures, it added.

Various companies in the related fields were also invited by the team to appraise the situation and provide consultations at the scene, it said, adding that a final examination was made right before the students left “in order to have a detailed and sound record of what happened.”

“We deeply regret that the Legislative Yuan threw away lots of things and replaced them with brand-new objects,” the team’s public statement said.

“According to our appraisal, the furniture was slightly damaged and the carpet only partially stained,” it added.

“If they were cleaned and renovated in a reasonable way, along with the repair of the other damaged equipment, the total cost would be less than NT$3.5 million,” it said.

“Our estimate is a world apart from that rumored among the public, which is more than NT$100 million,” the group said.

“The difference in the estimates shows that the public might be lacking understanding of the real damage and losses to the occupied chamber,” it added.

The team said it aimed to clarify the matter and “safeguard public funding” in the hope of helping the government avoid potential unnecessary spending.

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