Fri, Jul 15, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Controversy grows over Armani show in temple

NOT MAKING IT UP:Critics questioned the motives behind the decision to allow the global fashion brand to stage a make-up exhibit in Taichung’s Confucius Temple

By Chang Ching-ya and Lin Liang-che  /  Staff Reporters

A Giorgio Armani make-up exhibition slated to take place at the Taichung Confucius Temple tomorrow has been labeled inappropriate by critics, who suggest the show could demean the sanctity of the temple.

National Taichung University of Education associate professor Lin Mao-hsien (林茂賢) said it was like hosting a make-up exhibition in St Paul’s Cathedral in the Vatican City, or holding one in the Kinkaku-ji — the Temple of the Golden Pavillion — in Japan.

It is bound to raise controversy, he added.

Lin’s objections to the show being held at the Confucius Temple were also shared by Taichung City Councilor Chiu Su-chen (邱素貞).

Chiu said that Taichung City Confucius Temple and Martyr Shrine Usage Regulations stipulate that the buildings can be leased only between 9am and 5pm every day.

Saying that the planned Armani show is slated to begin at 8pm, Chiu questioned whether the joint managerial department could have turned a blind eye to the regulations because the show’s star act was rumored to be Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu’s (胡志強) daughter, Judy Hu (胡婷婷), and that both Jason Hu and his wife, Shaw Hsiao-ling (邵曉玲), would be attending the event.

Chiu also questioned whether there were any “special powers” involved or if someone was trying to show favor to Jason Hu.

The Confucius Temple is a solemn place that attracts many students and their parents, who come to worship and pray that they will do well in exams, she said.

Chiu added that as the temple was collaborating with Armani for the event, it was breaking with tradition and closing off temple grounds all day today and tomorrow, eliciting general discontent among the public.

Traditionally, the Confucius Temple remains open except on Confucius’s birthday.

On that day, the temple closes for two days for a ceremony dedicated to the remembrance of Confucius.

According to Tsai Ming-tao (蔡銘桃), joint managerial director for the Confucius Temple and the Martyr’s Shrine, the Confucius Temple was to be leased to the Armani organizers at night to help market Taichung City as a tourist attraction and because the show would not clash with the architectural beauty of the temple.

The event was due to take place after the completion of all major examinations and would not interfere with other worshipers, Tsai said, adding that the temple would be closed for two days as a safety precaution as Armani would be setting up a stage in the temple plaza.

Taichung City Department of Civil Affairs director Wang Chiu-tung (王秋冬) said that when Armani and the joint managerial department talked about leasing the temple grounds for the show, they had no discussion of who would be taking the stage or who would be attending the show.

No special consideration was given to which models would be taking the stage, he said.

Addressing the time of the event, Wang said the time published in the regulations concerned normal opening hours, and did not include special leasing times.

He added that other locations with a function similar to the Confucius Temple, such as Taipei’s National Palace Museum and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, had in the past agreed to lease their locations to outside companies for similar events and had received positive feedback.

TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER

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