Wed, Oct 08, 2003 - Page 2 News List

New museum of literature set to open in Tainan

CULTURE A historic site in the southern city will now host the museum of Taiwanese literature, which is expected to open its doors next week

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A historic site in Tainan is transforming itself into the nation's first national museum devoted to Taiwanese literature with the Executive Yuan set to approve its organic draft bill today.

Situated on the site of the Tainan City Hall, the 1,300-ping National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立台灣文學館) is scheduled to open to the public next Friday.

Completed in 1916, the Mansard-style building was designed by renowned Japanese architect Shonosuke Miriyama, who also designed the Control Yuan building in Taipei. The Tainan City Hall, originally designated by the city as a historic relic in 1998, was upgraded to a national historic relic in September this year.

According to Minister without Portfolio Chen Chi-nan (陳其南), who was in charge of reviewing the draft bill regarding the establishment of the National Museum of Taiwan Literature corporation (行政法人國立台灣文學館設置條例), the museum will be set up as a public corporation rather than a government agency to allow more flexibility in the operation of the facility.

"In line with the government's restructuring plan, we're not setting up a new government entity but something that's between a government agency and a private institution," Chen said. "We hope the legislature passes the draft as well as the draft bill of the public corporation law (行政法人法), which we sent for legislative review in August last year."

Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) agreed.

"To adjust the government's organization structure, we've been adopting different approaches over the years, including setting up new governmental agencies, streamlining the Cabinet's organization and turning government agencies into public corporations," he said.

Two of the new government agencies established after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power are the Council of Hakka Affairs and Council of Aboriginal People. The first government entities transformed into public corporations were the National Theater and National Concert Hall.

The museum has been planned for a long time, according to a close aide to Chen, who asked not to be named.

"In 1992, the Tainan City Government agreed to provide the site to the Cabinet's Council for Cultural Affairs for the future establishment of the museum," he said. "The Cabinet approved the plan in 1995, but the facility would serve as a cultural asset conservation research center [under the plan]."

Taking into account the significance of the collection of historic documents, the aide said that the Cabinet decided in 1998 to expand the historic document division of the planned National Cultural Asset Research Center into a national museum.

The remodeling project of the museum and construction project of the 6,600-ping research center began in June 1999 and was completed in June last year.

In addition to the bill for the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, the Cabinet is scheduled to approve two separate draft organic bills today for the establishment of a sports training center and education research institute.

The draft organic bill of the National Education Research Institute would incorporate five existing entities under the Ministry of Education. They are the National Institute for Compilation and Translation, National Institute of Educational Resources and Research, the ministry's science teaching commission, humanity and social science teaching commission, education study commission and education information institute.

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