Wed, Feb 11, 2004 - Page 2 News List

A museum for everybody requires everybody's help

COMMON HISTORY The National Museum of Taiwan History is looking for contributions for its collection to bolster the nation's collective memory

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

With a shortfall in its collection looming, the National Museum of Taiwan History (國立台灣歷史博物館), now under construction in Tainan, is relying on a Council for Cultural Affairs donation campaign.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and first lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) kick-started the campaign, contributing a manuscript from a 1986 Lunar New Year card, written two months after Wu was seriously injured in a car accident which many people suspected was an attempted assassination.

Wu was permanently paralyzed as a result.

Wu told her friends in the card: "Will I spend my remaining years like this? No, I will not and I cannot. I will not collapse. For the sake of Taiwan's democracy and freedom, I will stand up bravely and never give up."

At that time Wu was undergoing rehabilitation at the National Taiwan University Hospital.

Council Chairwoman Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) yesterday accepted the card and the manuscript from a representative of the Presidential Office at a news conference and called on everyone across the country to join the donation campaign.

"This card is one of the best witnesses to Taiwan's democratization process and time has proved Chen's efforts were a success," Tschen said.

Tschen said that the museum, which will occupy about 20 hectares, broke ground in December in Tainan's Annan district and will be finished in 2006.

The museum, estimated to cost about NT$1.83 billion, will specialize in the display of records of the nation's recent history, as well as featuring traditional Han Chinese and Aboriginal cultural treasures.

The museum is conceived as belonging to the people of Taiwan and hopes to construct a collective memory for them, Tschen said.

Council Vice Chairman Wu Mi-cha (吳密察), a professor specializing in Taiwanese history at the National Taiwan University, yesterday contributed records of the nation's history of opium production and use, compiled by the Japanese, which he found in Japan while serving as a visiting professor at Tokyo University in 1995.

The preparatory office for the museum yesterday held an exhibition of collections donated by individuals, foundations, publishing houses and private museums.

"Thanks to everyone's generosity, the museum's collection now numbers 10,000 pieces," said office director Lu Li-cheng (呂理政).

"This exhibition demonstrates the power of cooperation and shows we are able to build a museum that belongs to us," he said.

People wanting to donate personal collections to the museum can call (06) 2287577, ext.115.

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