Former presidential office secretary-general Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) recently donated more than 1,300 pieces from his 4,000-piece pig-themed memorabilia collection to commemorate the opening of the Swine Cultural Museum (豬仔文物館) by Taiwan Sugar Co on Saturday at the firm’s sugar refinery in Greater Kaohsiung’s Ciaotou District (橋頭).
Chen started collecting pig-themed objects from around the world several years ago and has amassed a vast collection that has turned his home into a pig paradise.
“I lived in the sugar refinery for about a year when my father still worked at the firm and during this time I established a deep bond with the place,” Chen said. “In spite of this, giving up part of my collection feels as if I’m marrying off a daughter.”
Thanks to Chen’s generosity, the newly opened museum boasts a wide variety of pig-themed items, ranging from delicate Aboriginal artifacts and other artworks, to pig-shaped mugs Chen acquired in countries such as the US, Greece, Peru and Chile.
Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said the Ciaotou sugar refinery has been a popular tourist attraction because of its architecture and welcoming environment.
“We expect the opening of the Swine Cultural Museum will make the sugar refinery an even more attractive place to visit,” Chen Chu said.
Taiwan Sugar Co, which poured about NT$1.5 million (US$50,600) into the museum, said that aside from its flagship sugar business, the company has been involved in the hog-raising industry for more than six decades.
The museum is divided into sections, which include a riddle section, a global village section, a handicrafts section, a piggy-bank section and a children’s section, to facilitate public understanding of pigs and help dispel the animal’s negative stereotypes, the company said.