Sun, Nov 13, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ex-Tainan District Court relaunched as cultural center

By Wang Chieh, Hung Jui-chin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

The old Tainan District Court building is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: CNA / Tainan District Court

Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) said he hoped an exhibition at the site of the former Tainan District Court would teach the public about the importance of the rule of law.

Hsu made the remarks while attending a ceremony on Tuesday to mark the completion of the site’s renovation. The exhibit features judiciary-related writings, historical documents, photographs and other materials.

Designed by Japanese architect Matsunosuke Moriyama and opened in 1914, the building was designated a national heritage site in 1991. It is seen as one of three buildings constructed in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period that are classics of that era, along with the Presidential Office Building in Taipei and the building which now houses the National Taiwan Museum.

The tower to the west of the building had started to lean due to sinking foundations, and cracks could be seen on its exterior. It was removed after National Cheng Kung University professors assessed the building and deemed it to be dangerous.

The building has undergone 13 years of restoration efforts with certain sections dismantled and restored with the aid of archeologists.

With its restoration complete, the building will be host to a variety of exhibits and events, detailing the building’s history, the changes in the local area, architectural uniqueness and an exhibit on the restoration efforts itself, the Tainan City Government said.

Hsu said he hoped the conservation of the building would aid in passing on “our history,” and serve as a bridge between the judiciary and the people.

While the Judicial Yuan hopes to turn the site into a “museum of justice,” Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said he hopes the site could be turned into the city’s “museum of history” and that the management of the site would be turned over to the city government.

No consensus has been reached between the two parties.

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