A Japanese colonial-era building in Taipei that has been repurposed as a museum was among the recipients of this year’s National Cultural Heritage Preservation Awards on Saturday.
The recipients included both tangible and intangible cultural assets, said the ministry, which held the award ceremony at the Cultural Heritage Park in Taichung.
The building, which used to house the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation, was in 2007 granted national monument status under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法) and was reopened as part of the National Taiwan Museum in July, becoming one of the museum’s four branches.
The site was once the administrative hub of Taiwan’s railways, the ministry said.
The restoration of the site was a rigorous process, and might serve as a model for other restoration and preservation projects, it said.
Two other national monuments — the water resources site of the Old Tainan Watercourse (原臺南水道), and the British Consulate and Consular Residence at Takow (打狗英國領事館及官邸) in Kaohsiung — also received awards, it said.
The former, constructed during the Japanese colonial period, represented the achievements of Tainan’s drinking water and sanitation projects, the ministry said.
The site, which has been kept intact, is historically significant as a symbol of Taiwan’s modernization, it said.
Since its restoration, it has functioned as a space for historical displays and cultural education, the ministry said, adding that the extension of its outdoor area as a space for leisurely activities has also encouraged more people to visit.
The Tainan Shan-Shang Garden and Old Waterworks Museum (臺南山上花園水道博物館), where the site is located, opened in October last year.
The other honorees were the National Archives Administration for its preservation of railways documents deemed significant antiquities, Lead Jade Life & Culture (立偕生活文化), and Hsu Han-chen (許漢珍), the ministry said.
Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) thanked central and local governments, as well as private companies and institutions, for their efforts in preserving the nation’s cultural assets.
The Nantou-based Seediq’s Traditional Culture and Arts Troupe and the Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Company performed at the ceremony.
A free exhibition is to be held at the Cultural Heritage Park through Sunday next week in honor of the six recipients, the ministry’s Bureau of Cultural Heritage said.
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