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Culture bureau calls police to probe Kun Iam Temple renovation

2019-01-15 08:00     Comment:0

The Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) said in a statement yesterday that it has called the police after Kun Iam Temple representatives continued with their renovation project despite the bureau having issued a ban on it last week after learning that the temple was being renovated without its authorisation.

According to the statement, after a meeting on Wednesday last week, the temple’s representatives promised to strictly abide by the law, where under the Cultural Heritage Protection Law any work carried out on cultural and architectural heritage sites has to be authorised by the bureau after consulting the bureau on the matter.

The temple is a cultural heritage site, categorised as a monument.

However, the bureau found out over the weekend that the unauthorised renovation work was still going on at the temple, causing damage to the building.

“As this is a criminal offence, the Cultural Affairs Bureau today [yesterday] reported it to the police,” the statement said, adding that the bureau “strongly condemns” the way the temple’s representatives have ignored the law. In the statement, the bureau also said it would handle the case in strict adherence to the law and hold the temple’s representatives responsible for their deeds.

The statement noted that the breach of official regulations is a criminal offence, adding that the ongoing project had already caused damage to the classified building. The bureau urged the public to obey the law.

According to media reports last week, the temple’s representatives recently proposed to the bureau several renovation projects at the temple. Despite not having received the bureau’s green light, the representatives went ahead with the project, after which the bureau ordered the project to be suspended.

IC Vice President Leong Wai Man on Friday told reporters that due to the temple’s renovation work so far, the white paint the temple now has on its walls has covered its original Chinese blue-coloured bricks – a clear violation of the heritage protection law.
The temple’s current building was erected in 1627. The unequal “Sino-American Treaty of Mong Ha” was signed on a stone table in the garden of the temple in 1844.



A pedestrian walks past Kun Iam Temple in Avenida do Coronel Mesquita yesterday evening. Photo: Iong Tat Choi

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