Temple to be restored, Hau vows

POLITICALLY SIGNIFICANT::Qingshan Temple’s festival and parade are being held today and tomorrow, with many of the Taipei mayoral hopefuls planning to attend

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Nov 22, 2013 - Page 1

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday promised to restore Qingshan Temple in Wanhua District (萬華) with an unlimited budget after the 160-year-old monument was seriously damaged by a fire on Tuesday night.

The temple, a major religious venue in Taipei along with Longshan Temple and Manga Qingshui Temple, also carries political significance as an election campaign destination for candidates from both the pan-blue and pan-green camps.

Hau, when inspecting the temple in the wake of the fire, said the city would spare no effort to restore the temple as soon as possible.

“The Taipei City Government will fully support the restoration of the temple and there will be no budget limit when it comes to the restoration of city monuments,” Hau said.

The Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs said the fire damaged the temple’s lobby and burnt statues of gods, and that it would cost more than NT$10 million (US$338,000) to restore the building.

Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and one of the party’s hopefuls for the Taipei mayoral election, lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄), also visited the temple yesterday to inspect it in the wake of the fire.

While Wanhua District remains a stronghold for the pan-green camp, the temple has been known for being more supportive of the pan-blue camp. Its annual festival and parade have been major events that attract politicians looking to boost their support among grassroots supporters.

The temple’s festival and parade are being held today and tomorrow, with Taipei mayoral hopefuls from both camps, including former Taipei EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡公司) chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), planning to attend the festivities.