Wed, Nov 08, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Taipei government calls MOTC move a `violation'

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Workers at the Ministry of Trans-portation and Communications (MOTC) have been busy packing things over the past few weeks in preparation for moving to a new office on Renai Road in Taipei on Saturday.

Staffers are still working in the old office on Changshan Street, which is located behind the Presidential Office.

Starting on Monday, however, they will be working at the new building.

However, the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Taipei City Government has called the move illegal because the old transportation building is ranked as a third-tier historical site and the transport ministry did not report its intention to move.

"According to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法), any modification of a historical site must be registered with the department, or it will be recognized as a violation of the law," said Wang Yi-chun (王逸群), a division chief at the department.

Wang said that he had been unaware of the ministry's impending move until he was asked about it by the press.

Wang added that the old building has been used by the ministry since 1956.

As the functions of the building will be altered by the move, the ministry was required by law to provide notification to his department, Wang said.

The department would dispatch specialists to the site to collect photographic evidence of the building before the next tenant uses it, he said.

The MOTC's Department of General Affairs said yesterday they had no knowledge of the regulation cited by Wang and considered the move a simple transfer of a national asset from one government building to another.

After the ministry leaves, the Academia Historica will take over the old transportation building.

Hsueh Chin (薛琴), a professor of architecture at Chung Yuan Christian University and a specialist responsible for the restoration work on the Presidential Office, said the Academia Historica has no budget to repair the building.

According to Hsueh, the building was originally painted in beige rather than the present gray.

Two new floors were built above the original building during the administration of former transportation minister Kao Yu-shu (高玉樹).

Records at the Department of Cultural Affairs indicated that the transportation building was used as a mail delivery facility during the colonial era.

Moriyama Mastunosuke, an official with the colonial government, was believed to be the mastermind behind the building's construction and to have also overseen the building of the Presidential Office and the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp building.

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