SDEV and Chairman of Antiquities Advisory Board meet the media

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, and the Chairman of Antiquities Advisory Board, Mr Andrew Lam, at a media session after attending the Antiquities Advisory Board meeting on the public consultation on the review on conservation of built heritage today (June 4):

Reporter: Secretary, so damage has already been done to part of the unearthed railway and future railway stations. Do you find your role as the Secretary for Development conflicting and how can the government strike a balance?

Secretary for Development: There is no conflict in my role. And as spoken earlier, in this particular project, the co-operation between the Development Bureau and the Transport and Housing Bureau has been very close. And we have set up a cross-bureau and cross-department task force to specifically monitor this particular project and make appropriate and timely reports to the Bureau Secretaries as well as to the advisory committee.

     As to your earlier allegation about possible damage to the archeological findings, I must point out that, as you may have noticed in recent newspaper reports, academics said that in their archeological work, it is necessary for them to do digging works, and in the process take good care and custody of the findings, and through this process they would be able to uncover not just the current history as we view from the surface of the earth, but the different layers giving clues to different generations, different dynasties of the findings. Perhaps Andrew would like to supplement in this respect.

Chairman of Antiquities Advisory Board: Thank you. It is just a matter of proper understanding of the nature of archeological survey and excavations. There are three different cultural layers, and it is absolutely necessary to unveil each and every layer through the digging excavation process. So without actually unearthing the topmost layer, there could not possibly be any findings on the bottom layer, which is really the target of this particular archeological study and survey.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 21:36