Swire stands by its record of promoting arts at Taikoo Place
We wish to respond to Robert Maes' charge of arrogance regarding Swire Properties ('Simple solution for developers', April 30).
First of all, we would like to reiterate that the whole of Taikoo Place is privately owned by Swire, which, through its subsidiaries, entered into a deed of dedication with the government. This requires us to provide a right of public passage for part of Taikoo Place's walkway that links some of our commercial towers at the first-floor level.
As part of the overall enhancement of this integrated walkway, we have installed some art pieces as well as seating for the enjoyment and use of the general public.
We also, from time to time, give over a small area to various art groups, free of charge, for their varied exhibitions and performances.
It is a pity that Mr Maes mistakes our passion for the arts as arrogance.
We have sponsored more than 1,000 arts events in the past decade.
These included Argentinean tango, the Brazilian samba, as well as Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra concerts, which proved very popular and received favourable comments from both the general public, as well as those more involved in the arts.
Swire Properties received the Hong Kong Arts Development Award - Gold Prize for Arts Sponsorship 2003 and in 2007 Swire Pacific Limited received the Award for Arts Sponsorship, both of which are considerable recognition from the Arts Development Council.
We are in the process of converting a rentable area into a generous foyer decorated with art pieces, for the enjoyment of pedestrians.
We remain committed to bringing the arts to a wider audience and, by offering unique venues in which local and overseas artists can showcase their talent, we will have taken a big step to achieving our goal.
Instead of providing a sterile passageway to the public, we hope to offer space and creativity so that we can continue to hold temporary events of a great variety in Taikoo Place for years to come.
Miranda Szeto, head of public affairs, Swire Properties