Sat, Feb 15, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Songwriter’s son seeks help with historical home

By Yang Hsin-hui and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A calligraphic work of the lyrics for Bang Chhun-hong, a Hoklo-language (commonly known as Taiwanese) song that has the English title Longing for the Spring Breeze, hang on a wall at the home of deceased songwriter Lee Lin-chiu in Taipei on Thursday.

Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times

The Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs should buy Lee Lin-chiu’s (李臨秋) residence, which was listed as a historical site in 2009, to help conserve cultural assets, the songwriter’s son said on Thursday.

The residence is to be auctioned on April 8 after the department last year asked the site’s owners to propose an emergency repair plan.

Lee’s son Lee Hsiu-chien (李修鑑) said that the ownership issue was complicated.

“The ground floor of the two-story building belonged to a family surnamed Kao (高), while my family owned the second floor,” he said, adding that one person in the Lee family had sold their share of the building, but the buyer has been allegedly extorting the family since the sale.

The Kao family has filed for a partition of the rights to the building, which has forced the auction, he said, adding that all of the owners have agreed to receive a share of the sale amount proportionate to their holding.

Lee Hsiu-chien said that he is willing to donate his father’s manuscripts and furniture, as well as help train volunteers, should the city government purchase the building.

Lee Lin-chiu wrote the lyrics for Bang Chhun-hong, a Hoklo-language (commonly known as Taiwanese) song that has the English title Longing for the Spring Breeze (望春風).

Department Secretary-General Liu Te-chien (劉得堅) said that the city is not inclined to purchase the building.

The owners have not followed provisions of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法) stipulating that they should renovate and maintain such sites, Liu said.

However, the department would closely follow the issue, he said.

“The city government is willing to work with the owners to find a solution and allow the asset to remain in private ownership,” Liu said.

Lee Hsiu-chien said that repairs were not carried out because there were too many owners, so reaching a consensus on work and finances was too difficult.

In 2010, the department said that it would pay a subsidy of NT$3.2 million (US$106,486) for the renovations, while the Lee family would pay NT$800,000, Lee Hsiu-chien said.

However, only part of the building was renovated, he said.

“One of other owners said that I was pocketing the NT$3.2 million, so they refused to allow work to be done on their section,” Lee Hsiu-chien said, adding that the same owner refused to sell his share.

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