Protection hinges on law change
The government's consultation paper on built heritage centred for the most part on three broad policy questions: What do we wish to preserve? How do we want to go about it? How much are we prepared to pay?
But it all boils down to the question of whether the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance, enacted in 1976, should be amended, as existing law provides for only one form of conservation - declaring a single building a monument based on its historical significance and architectural merit.
In a Legislative Council panel meeting last week, Home Affairs Deputy Secretary Leo Kwan Wing-wah (left) said that, after the consultation ended on May 18, the government would start a second consultation, in which changes would be suggested, with results due early next year.
Explaining why the bureau was taking so long to address the issue, he said time was needed to consult other departments and seek views from the Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau to ensure the feasibility of future proposals.