The first phase of a Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) program to promote cultural heritage in the Jinguashih (金瓜石) and Shueinandong (水湳洞) areas of New Taipei City began at the Shueinandong Refinery during the Mid-Autumn Festival this year, the company said.
The refinery was completed in 1933 and is best known for its tiered exterior, which is often referred to by miners of old and local residents as the “Thirteen Folds.”
It was transferred to Taipower after the amount of gold in the mines diminished and Taiwan Metals Mining Co (台灣金屬礦業公司) closed down in the late 1980s.
Considered a cultural heritage site by the New Taipei City Government since 2007, the refinery could have a strong chance of being recognized as a world heritage site, the firm said.
Designer Chou Lian (周鍊) and artist Joyce Ho (何采柔) collaborated with Taipower on the lighting at the former refinery, taking into consideration the nighttime lighting of nearby villages and roads, the company said.
From 6pm to 9pm, the former refinery is to be lit with soft amber-colored lighting, allowing passersby a glimpse what the refinery would have looked like in its heyday, it said.
Planning for the project began in 2017, but it was only approved by the New Taipei City Public Art and Cultural Asset Committee and the Environmental Protection Administration this month, the company said.
The delay was due to the refinery being considered a potential site for pollution, primarily due to residual minerals remaining at the site, it added.
After the project was approved, the company last month held meetings with residents of Jinguashih and Shuinandong to inform them about the project.
A borough warden who attended one of the meetings said the residents supported the project, but asked that the company take measures to deal with resulting increased traffic and trash caused by visiting tourists.
Local residents said they hoped the project would give a boost to tourism in the region.
The company said that there are plans for projects at other cultural heritage sites in the area, such as Liyueh Refinery, commonly known as Prince’s Lodge, and the Shinto temple in Jinguashih.
Once renovations have been completed at Liyueh Refinery the company plans to organize a landscape festival.
It plans to use an augmented reality smartphone app to take visitors back into the past at the remains of the Shinto temple, the firm said.
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