Tue, Aug 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

North Gate signs have 11 mistakes

RUSH JOB:Work on the area around the North Gate has not been completed, but the opening of the site was likely rushed in time for the Universiade, a historian said

By Chang Kai-hsiang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The newly renovated North Gate (Beimen) is pictured in Taipei on Thursday last week.

Photo courtesy of Taipei City Government Public Works Department

Signs unveiled on Thursday at the newly renovated North Gate (北門, Beimen) in Taipei contain 11 factual errors, cultural historian Cheng Sheng-chi (鄭勝吉) said.

The mistakes include an erroneous statement that the gate’s walls used sandstone from China, mislabeled photos of the city’s other gates and a misattributed portrait of Qing Dynasty-era Taiwan governor Lin Ta-chuan (林達泉), Cheng said, adding that the unveiling might have been rushed for this month’s Universiade.

Inspections at the site have not been completed, the city’s Public Works Department said, adding that work on the site would continue until at least October.

The manufacturer of the signs will be asked to rectify the errors, the department said.

Renovations to the North Gate began on Nov. 21 last year and cost the city NT$286 million (US$9.46 million). About 50,000 people worked on the project, which the city government has said is the focal point of its efforts to revitalize the city’s tourism industry.

Cheng also rejected a placard’s claim that geomancy guided the layout of the city’s central axis during the Qing Dynasty.

The area around the gate comprising modern-day Yanping S Road, Zhongxiao W Road, Zhonghua Road and Wuchang Street was built up during the Japanese colonial era when it was known as Futai Street, he said, adding that Yanping S Road was not built until 1909, but is often misdated to Qing times.

He was not taken seriously when he brought his concerns to the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, he said, adding that more mistakes continued to appear afterward.

Parts of the gate’s surrounding square have yet to be completed, such as filling a gap between the square and the adjacent street, filling portions of the square’s concrete areas and finishing painting of decorations that surround the gate.

As only the gate itself is a nationally recognized historical site, efforts were focused on finishing work on the gate first, the Public Works Department said, adding that it would hand over the remaining work to the Department of Cultural Affairs.

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