Doctors say a memorial in the medical science museum would reinforce lessons from the outbreak A monument or museum should be set up to commemorate the Sars outbreak and the Hong Kong people who died in it, legislators and academics said yesterday. Legislator Mak Kwok-fung, representing the health services constituency, said a monument could help keep the memory of the Sars outbreak alive to remind future generations of the lesson learned. Microbiologist Yuen Kwok-yung, from the University of Hong Kong, echoed his view. 'It is a necessary step to change the hygiene culture of Hong Kong. The monument will be dedicated to the dead and the professionals fighting against the disease. It will also remind us of the importance of having a clean living environment, which was not fully recognised in the past,'' he said. Both Professor Yuen and Lo Wing-lok, who represents the medical sector in the Legislative Council, suggested that a monument be set up in the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Science in Sheung Wan. They said part of the museum could be used to display records and photographs from the outbreak that form part of the community's collective memory. Museum society chairman Tse Tak-fu described the proposal as 'an excellent idea'' and said the society was already planning an exhibition on the epidemic next year. 'We plan to have an exhibition of the photos and articles on Sars a year from now. It will remind people what has happened a year ago. In the longer term, [building a monument] will be our aim and task,'' Dr Tse said. Dr Tse hoped the government would invest in a monument and provide funds for its maintenance. He said the museum, which is a private charity, would raise money, but the project would be achieved more easily with government assistance. 'We need to find room for the monument. We will certainly discuss it in the executive board to see how to accommodate it,'' he said. Established in 1996, the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Science encompasses 11 exhibition galleries, a library and a lecture room, in 10,000 sq ft of space. It is housed in the old Bacteriological Institute building, which was constructed in 1906 near the site of the Tai Ping Shan plague outbreak a century ago in which several thousand people were killed. 'The whole incident bears a great resemblance to what happened a hundred years ago. We are now following the developments very closely and are collecting photos, articles and any information we can get about it,'' said Dr Tse. A Home Affairs Bureau spokesman said the government had no immediate plan to build a Sars monument or memorial.