Fri, Nov 23, 2007 - Page 2 News List

CCA approves name change to `Liberty Square'

CONFLICT The Taipei City Government slammed the decision and vowed to take action if changes were made to the National Democracy Memorial Hall

By Loa Iok-sin and Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) has approved an application by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to change the inscription on the entry arch to the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall, drawing fire again from the Taipei City Government.

"The CCA informed us that the council's cultural assets assessment committee has approved our project to make changes to the [National Taiwan Democracy memorial Hall], which includes a plan to change the inscription on the entry arch," Ministry Chief Secretary Chuang Kuo-jung (莊國榮) said yesterday.

arch

Chuang said that while the arch will be preserved, the inscription will be changed from dazhong zhizheng (大中至正) to "Liberty Square" (自由廣場).

However, as the four characters also bear historic value, "the four characters will be preserved after being taken down," Chuang said.

The inscription "Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall" on a plaque hanging above the entrance gate of the memorial hall itself will also be changed to "National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall," he said.

The ministry has yet to receive an official approval notice from the council, but "once we receive the official letter, we'll post a seven-day notice to invite public bidding for the work," Chuang said.

The Taipei City Government yesterday however pledged to exercise its authority and sue the ministry if it insisted on changing the name plates.

construction permit

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) vowed to take action against the ministry if it failed to obtain approval from the city government for the construction.

"The memorial hall is a temporary municipal historic site, and damaging the site could bring a five-year prison term. The city government will find a way to deal with the situation," Hau said at the Taipei City Council.

Lee Yong-ping (李永萍), commissioner of the city's Cultural Affairs Department, urged the central government to avoid violating the Cultural Heritage Preservation Law (文化資產保存法) by sending an evaluation application to the department immediately to obtain approval from its cultural heritage evaluation committee.

legal procedures

"The MOE has not followed the legal procedures, and the Taipei City Government will abide by the law and fine the ministry for any illegal actions and bring related personnel to justice," she said.

Lee said that any construction at the hall must be approved by the city's cultural heritage evaluation committee and Taipei City's Building Administration Office.

The department already informed the MOE and asked it to remove scaffolds set up in front of the hall.

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