Taipei City councilors have criticized the city government for failing to relocate lanterns installed in Zhongshan District’s (中山) Xingguo Park after the Lantern Festival concluded, leading to a “marring of the park’s natural environment.”
The city government had earlier approved that the statue-shaped lanterns may be reused in an exhibition within the park that followed on from the festival.
However, Taipei Councilor Chen Li-hui (陳孋輝) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said this decision had not adequately dealt with the problem, which continued to detract from the scenery in the local park.
Residents have complained that the lanterns, of varying size and posture, scare local children when lit up at night.
Chen added that the mess of electric lines hitched across the trees and around the statues was an eyesore which conflicted with the natural beauty of the park.
In response, Taipei City government’s head of the department of civil affairs, Huang Lu Chin-ju (黃呂錦茹), said that, as was customary after the festival, a number of organizations had been asked to adopt the lanterns.
Included this year are Yang-Ming Home for the Disabled, the Taipei City Zoo, the Hakka Cultural Theme Park, the Taipei Water Department and other communal parks, religious organizations and corporations.
However, Huang Lu said that because several lanterns this year were made from tougher material than in previous years, the city government had decided that they could be placed in public areas for longer.
Local borough offices have now filed the necessary paperwork to “adopt” out the lanterns to other organizations, Huang Lu said.
Huang Lu said that the residents who were scared of the lanterns may be in a minority, but added that she would visit the park herself to better understand the situation.