West Kowloon Cultural District

Public consultation on Hong Kong’s Palace Museum extended until March 8

Accompanying exhibition to also be updated to include planned internal layout and spatial design concepts of museum

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2017, 8:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 February, 2017, 8:46am

A public consultation on the proposed construction of the Palace Museum would be extended for two weeks until March 8, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announced on Tuesday.

An exhibition in line with the exercise would also be updated from Wednesday to include the museum’s planned internal layout and spatial design concepts by its design consultant, architect Rocco Yim Sen-kee – the first time it would be on public display.

But a lawmaker questioned the motive and effectiveness of the extension, saying it may have been triggered after the opinion-gathering exercise received a cold response.

After its board meeting yesterday – the first to be chaired by Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung following the departure of his predecessor Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor – the WKCDA announced that the six-week consultation, originally scheduled to end on February 22, would now be on until March 8.

“The WKCDA is keen to solicit and listen to the views and comments from stakeholders. This will help the board decide how to take forward this landmark project ... I urge people to visit the exhibition or view the museum design online and share their views,” the authority’s chief executive officer Duncan Pescod said.

Extra consultation sessions with relevant sectors such as architectural, arts and cultural groups would also be conducted.

But Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan, who grilled government officials at a Legislative Council meeting last week over the project, said the consultation had no real meaning, although the extension was “better than nothing”.

She said that key questions were still unanswered. “Whether the public supports the project, if it should be built in West Kowloon ... there is no mention [of that] at all,” she said.

“Could the exhibits be displayed at other venues, such as the Heritage Museum or even the Arts Museum?”

The project was first announced by Lam in December. Its lack of transparency quickly drew controversy, forcing the authority to eventually make a U-turn and start a six-week consultation on January 10.

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So far, there have been 15,000 visits to the exhibition, staged at the City Gallery in Central, with its website garnering another 14,000 page views.

“We hope the expanded contents of the exhibition will help facilitate the public consultation process and inspire stakeholders and the public to share further comments with us and make this museum a place that the people of Hong Kong can take pride in,” architect Yim said in a press release.