Bid to sell mansion parts criticised

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 June, 2009, 12:00am


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The public should ignore an online offer to sell parts detached from the historic King Yin Lei mansion for millions of dollars, the Development Bureau says.

The internet sale was posted by a contractor hired to deface the Stubbs Road mansion two years ago. The bureau urged the contractor, Leung Tao-hang, to donate the parts to help restore the monument.

It also maintained that no public money would be spent to buy the parts. 'Although recovery of the parts of the King Yin Lei may assist the comprehensive restoration works, we consider the principle and spirit of heritage conservation should not be compromised,' a spokesman said.

'We strongly disagree with any public trading of those parts ... as this would have an undesirable effect on our heritage work in future.'

Mr Leung, who took the parts before the mansion was declared a monument, said he would soon 'destroy the items in public', criticising officials for failing to take responsibility. 'If they won't buy it, so be it. I'm only a small contractor, I've done my best to preserve the materials for you,' he said.

He offered on the Yahoo auction website last week to sell about 100 wooden doors, window frames and screens for HK$5 million.

Yahoo cancelled his auction yesterday because he posted his mobile-phone number, which would have allowed buyers and sellers to trade offline and leave no correspondence online - a necessary measure for police to investigate transactions.

The bureau spokesman said representatives of the mansion's former owner had met Mr Leung several times but reached no agreement. He said the parts 'have a relatively short history' and should not significantly affect the heritage value.