While the new director of the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, Weng Chih-tsung (翁誌聰), is set to be sworn-in today, several cultural groups yesterday questioned his qualifications and urged Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) to explain his selection.
With former museum director Lee Jui-teng (李瑞騰) deciding to return to National Central University to teach after serving as the museum’s head for four years, Lung announced last week that a specialist at the ministry’s Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development would take over the helm, which came as a surprise to many in the literary field.
“The first reaction of many literary figures upon hearing the Weng announcement was: ‘Who is he?’” said several cultural groups in a collaborative statement that they released yesterday.
“Although the Ministry of Culture published Weng’s resume, trying to show that he is qualified for the post, we do not see any connection between his experience and Taiwanese literature, and we do not see how he can lead the museum,” the groups said.
Weng’s resume lists an undergraduate degree from Chinese Culture University’s Department of Theater Arts, a master’s degree from Shih Hsin University’s Graduate Institute of Communications and a doctorate in Chinese literature from the Chu Hai College of Higher Education in Hong Kong.
Weng also served as secretary at the Taipei City Archives and the Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs before his Ministry of Culture placement as a specialist.
The groups that released the statement include the Lai Ho Cultural Foundation, the Yang Kui Association for Culture and Education, the Li Kang-Khiok Taigi Cultural and Educational Foundation and the Taiwan Books of Lyrics Society.
The groups said that during the past 10 years since the museum was established, many respected figures in Taiwanese literature have served as its head.
“We can not imagine how someone who has no in-depth knowledge about Taiwanese literature can continue the excellent work done by his predecessors, lead the staff and bring about a better future for the museum, unless you [Lung] believe that the only thing that the museum director has to do is to follow orders,” the groups said.
The groups demanded an explanation from Lung on how she arrived at her choice and urged her to convince them that the new director has the requisite professional qualifications.