LCQ9: Building more museums
The Chief Executive proposed in the 2022 Policy Address to increase the number of museums under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to 19. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the number of museums proposed to be built, and the details of the projects concerned; the criteria based on which the Government decides the types and themes of the museums proposed to be built;
(2) whether it has plans to build a museum of the return of Hong Kong for the important historical process of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, so as to give an accurate account of the history of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and enhance public understanding of "one country, two systems"; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) as there are views that Hong Kong lacks a permanent venue to provide the literary community with a platform for activities and exchanges, and to centrally collect and display Hong Kong's literature and literary documents, whether the Government will plan for the building of a literary museum; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
To foster the cultural development of Hong Kong as an East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange, the Chief Executive has mapped out a new "10-year development blueprint for arts and cultural facilities" in the 2022 Policy Address, including plans to increase the number of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD)'s museums from the current 15 to 19.
My reply to the three parts of the Hon Ma's question is as follows:
(1) The setting up of a new museum involves considerations in various aspects and overall planning. As a pre-requisite, it is necessary that sufficient representative artefacts must be available to enrich the content of the exhibition. In addition, it depends on whether the theme is valued and accepted by the public, and whether it can promote cultural development for the benefit of the public.
The proposed new museums include the Heritage Conservation and Resource Centre (HCRC) located in Area 109, Tin Shui Wai, the Chinese History and Culture Promotion Centre (CPC) to be converted from the Whitfield Barracks in Kowloon Park, Tsi Sha Tsui, and two new museums to be located in the Northern Metropolis and Kau Yi Chau Artificial Islands. The theme and content of the new museums are still under consideration.
The HCRC will be equipped with exhibition galleries, lecture hall, visible collection rooms, conservation studios, collection study room, etc, to enable visitors to appreciate and study the artefacts in close proximity, promoting public awareness of heritage conservation. The CPC will organise activities to promote Chinese history and traditional culture with museum collections.
(2) Over the years, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has been fostering the public's understanding of history through different channels, including exhibitions and official memorial ceremonies.
The Hong Kong Museum of History (HKMH) under the management of the LCSD features the history of the return of Hong Kong to the motherland in its permanent exhibition gallery for long term display. Currently, the HKMH is updating its permanent exhibition to further enhance the presentation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the birth of Basic Law, the establishment of the HKSAR overnment, the Handover Ceremony and the development after the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, to deepen the public's understanding towards this chapter of history.
Apart from the permanent exhibition, the HKMH stages thematic exhibitions relating to the return of Hong Kong to the motherland from time to time. Examples are "The Exhibition of the 25th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China", "National Flag, Emblem and Anthem of the People's Republic of China", "Deng Xiaoping and Hong Kong", "Achievements in the Past and Plans for the Future", etc.
(3) The HKSAR Government is committed to promoting the development of local literature. The Hong Kong Public Libraries (HKPL) of the LCSD has regularly organised various types of extension activities for members of the public and educational circles to enhance their interests in literary arts and to promote writings and the appreciation of literature.
The HKPL has been in partnership with cultural bodies on literary arts to strengthen existing work and has been producing series of videos, namely "101 Academy – Appreciation of Literature" and "101 Academy – Literary Map of Hong Kong" for presentation in the "LCSD Edutainment Channel" and the "HKPL YouTube Channel" and publicity to primary and secondary schools to further promote reading and the appreciation of literature to students.
The HKPL has been in a positive role in the promotion of literary arts and the collection of literature. The Hong Kong Literature Room of the Hong Kong Central Library collects, manages and preserves works on local literature and research related to Hong Kong literary scene. These works can be searched from the public libraries' catalogue. Some authors' manuscripts and newspaper clippings related to local literature have also been digitised after clearance of copyright and can be accessed via the Multimedia Information System of the HKPL by members of the public.
Local universities including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Education University of Hong Kong have established research centers on literature and launched databases related to local literature to support local and overseas scholars on Hong Kong literature studies, so as to promote Hong Kong literature. The Hong Kong Arts Development Council has also granted funding to local literature related projects to support creation and exchange of local writers and literary circles.
Overall, literature represents the quality and literacy of a society. The respect for literature, can enhance the cultural literacy of the society as a whole. The HKSAR Government is open to the idea of setting up of a Literature Museum and welcomes suggestions from stakeholders for further study and consideration.
Ends/Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:45
Issued at HKT 15:45