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Wed, Aug 02, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Cultural Affairs Bureau takes over art museum

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei's Cultural Affairs Bureau yesterday temporarily took over the Taipei Fine Arts Museum following the controversial resignation of the museum's director.

Before the new successor is picked by the bureau's five-person task force -- which will be led by bureau Chief Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) -- Deputy Director Huang Tsai-lang (黃才郎) will fill in for former museum director, Lin Mun-lee (林曼麗).

Lin handed in her resignation on July 14, about four months before her contract expires in November, following friction with Lung.

The war between the two women started on April 23. Lin said in a seminar that Lung applied "White Terror tactics" when the bureau asked the city's anti-corruption unit to conduct an investigation of the Second Taipei Fine Arts Museum, which was yesterday renamed the Taipei Contemporary Art Museum.

Lin also accused Lung of being "a layman interfering in a professional's job" and urged the authorities to respect professionalism in the arts and stop the "abuse of administrative powers."

The criticism not only agitated Lung, but also prompted city councilors to call for action from her and make a decision within 10 days about Lin's future.

"I was shocked when I knew that somebody had accused me of `abusing administrative powers,'" Lung told reporters yesterday. "It's well known that in 16 years of being a professional writer I've never had any interest in either a political career or flattering the authorities."

Lung said it was her job to supervise the five subsidiary units under the bureau, including the museum and she has never interfered nor questioned the professionalism of the directors' concerning the arts.

"To be a director is not an art but rather art administration, and art administration is managerial science," she said. "Just like an artist does not necessarily make a good manager, a good manager does not necessarily have to be an artist."

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