Should Hong Kong build more museums? | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 25, 2015
  • Updated: 9:22pm

Should Hong Kong build more museums?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 August, 2007, 12:00am

Nicholas Wong Hei, 17


Sing Yin Secondary School


Building more museums in Hong Kong would be a waste of resources. As it is, the existing museums here are not that heavily patronised by locals.


In this city, only those with an active interest in learning take the trouble to visit museums, and they constitute only a very small proportion of the population.


With the internet, more and more people are educating themselves online. They prefer the comfort and convenience of learning at a computer than going to the trouble of visiting a museum. Today's young generation sees no big difference between looking at something on the computer screen and looking at the real thing. At least, that is how this generation sees it. As a result, the demand for museums has decreased.


The other thing is that museums rank low when it comes to entertainment. Today's generation prefers modern forms of entertainment. Why not use our limited resources to help poor communities, rather than build something that's appreciated by only a minority?


Building and maintaining museums require a lot of money and manpower. Also, museums do not generate money, they have to be subsidised.


It would be more worthwhile using all that money to create media programmes that encourage self-learning.


By the way, I wonder whether Hong Kong has that much in the way of antiques to fill more museums.


Phoenix Lee Ching-kwan, 18


Tin Ka Ping Secondary School


Museums are not just tourist attractions - they also serve an educational purpose. With more museums, Hong Kong citizens have more opportunities to experience different cultures and appreciate world art. This is essential if Hong Kong is to become a cultural centre.


Our city is often referred to as a 'cultural desert'. Critics say that all we care about is economic benefit and that we know very little about history and the fine arts. Such criticism may seem harsh, but it is valid.


One important step in changing this situation is to build more museums. London is a good example of a city with a great cultural atmosphere, and part of this can be attributed to the city's large number of museums and art galleries. Famous British museums include the Tate Britain, the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery. These museums and art galleries promote cultural appreciation among not only locals also visitors from around the world. Hong Kong still has a long way to go. Let us take the first step by building more museums.


More museums would help Hong Kong both culturally and economically. Museums can help boost tourism. Museums are expensive to build, but profits can be made from admission fees and the sale of souvenirs.


Some people may say art can be appreciated on the internet. But art seen on computers is not the same.


Let's turn this so-called 'cultural desert' into an oasis.


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