Sun, Nov 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taichung proceeding with sand sculpture museum, deputy mayor says

By Huang Chung-shan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A sculptor works on the wall of a huge sand castle at the Daan Sand Sculpture and Music Festival in Taichung in July.

Photo: Huang Chung-shan, Taipei Times

Taichung is moving forward with plans to develop a sand sculpture museum in the city’s coastal Daan District (大安), Taichung Deputy Mayor Lin Ling-san (林陵三) said at a city council meeting on Friday.

Lin made the remarks after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung City Councilor Wu Min-chi (吳敏濟) demanded that the city government speed up the plan.

The number of visitors to the Daan Sand Sculpture and Music Festival has continued to grow and exceeded 450,000 this year, Wu said during a question-and-answer session.

The increase was due to the attention-grabbing quality of the sculptures, Wu said, adding that the sand in Daan is very delicate and well suited to sculpting.

The city government should speed up the establishment of a museum and transform Daan into a haven for Taiwanese sand sculpture art, he said.

Lin echoed Wu’s statements about the sand in Daan and said that Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) had visited the area.

“Authorities have studied and developed a plan to build a sand sculpture museum and are pushing to make it happen,” Lin Ling-san said.

“The mayor has directed that incorporation of the sand sculpture museum with the Matsu Theme Park (媽祖主題園區) in Daan Port be considered,” the Taichung Tourism Bureau said.

“We have tentatively included a new scenic area administration in a scenic area tourism development plan for Daan,” it added.

Bureau Director-General Chen Sheng-shan (陳盛山) said the museum would be one of two “star destinations” along the coastline, the other being the Gaomei Wetlands (高美溼地) in the city’s Cingshuei District (清水).

The bureau plans to promote the Matsu cultural park as a hub for tourism in the area, linking it with Daan Coastal Park (大安濱海樂園), the Beishan River Bridge (北汕溪跨橋) and Turtle Shell Ecological Park (龜殼生態公園), Chen said, adding that the city would start promoting surfing and other activities in the area.

New Taipei City’s Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival has a budget of NT$20 million (US$662,866) and yields about NT$200 million in revenue, Wu said.

Tainan’s Mashagou Coastal Recreation Area (馬沙溝) has a budget of NT$8 million and produces about NT$150 million in revenue, he said, adding that Daan’s festival generated nearly NT$400 million in revenue on a budget of only NT$7 million.

Revenue from sand sculpture exhibitions in Japan’s Tottori Prefecture and Haeundae District in Busan, South Korea, has exceeded the invested funds 10-fold, Wu said, adding that construction of the Sand Museum in Tottori city cost less than NT$200 million.

“The museum is open year-round and its theme is frequently changed, attracting repeat visitors. In 2013, total revenue from the museum exceeded NT$3.5 trillion,” he said.

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