SAR deputies to sit in Great Hall grandeur

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 March, 1997, 12:00am

The Hong Kong chamber will be the most glittering and expensive in the Great Hall of the People after renovations costing $32 million.

In stark contrast to the dull chambers used by other mainland provinces, the Hong Kong chamber is lit by three grand chandeliers hanging from a high ceiling.

After objections were raised by some Hong Kong National People's Congress deputies, the principal designer, Professor Wang Weiyu of Qinghua University, shed her plans for a wood-based decor.

Instead, the 600-square-metre main hall features marble walls and flooring.

A huge tapestry depicting Hong Kong at night hangs on the central wall.

With its exhibition hall and terrace garden, the total area of the chamber for future NPC meetings adds up to 1,278 square metres, the biggest of all the chambers in the conference venue.

According to Peter Wong Man-kong, one of the deputies in charge of the project and fund-raising, artworks relating to the first Opium War - which ended with the ceding of Hong Kong Island to Britain in perpetuity - will be displayed in the chamber.

He said some Hong Kong deputies touring the chamber yesterday had proposed installing a statue of Deng Xiaoping to commemorate his invention of the 'one country, two systems' principle.

Professor Wang said the design has been amended more than 10 times since she took up the project last August.

She cited the change of materials as her biggest headache.

'Some of the deputies from Hong Kong objected to my idea,' she said.

'They told me that people do not use wooden materials for grand buildings.

'The present decor is a result of accommodating to different people's views.' Some NPC deputies said it was too early to comment on the design.

Few were ready to openly praise it.