A Taipei City Government event titled “Shilin Official Residence Tulip Exhibition — Encounter with the Netherlands” opened yesterday and is to run until Feb. 28, showcasing more than 30,000 bulbs.
The Taipei Public Works Department’s Parks and Street Lights Office said entry to the exhibition at the Shilin Residence (士林官邸) is free, and it plans to hold a photography contest for visitors with a NT$5,000 cash prize.
At the opening ceremony, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said the Shilin Residence is like the city’s backyard garden, and as more than 550,000 people visited the Chrysanthemum Show in December last year, he hopes the new exhibition will attract even more visitors.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
As the Lunar New Year holiday coincides with the exhibition, people from other parts of Taiwan are welcome to visit, he said.
As the tulip is the national flower of the Netherlands, the office has decorated the exhibition area with that country’s iconic windmills and wooden clogs, he added.
Aside from the flowers, the exhibition is also to offer lectures and performances, Ko said, adding that it would demonstrate “localization” with locally grown tulips, “globalization” through the assistance of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office to include Dutch elements and “industrialization” by helping the floriculture industry earn money.
Asked whether the exhibition is being held to garner support for this year’s mayoral election, Ko said he wants flower shows to be normalized so Taipei’s residents can enjoy seeing flowers year-round and for Taipei to be a more beautiful and attractive city for visitors.
Asked about political commentator Yao Li-ming’s (姚立明) remark that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would lose at least four city councilor seats if it continues to support him in the election, Ko said “election issues should be directed toward DPP Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福), because they have analyzed it, but I am embarrassed to say more.”
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