‘League of Guia Lighthouse Protectors’ vows to petition UNESCO
Macau Post Daily 29-01-2007
The newly formed “League of Guia Lighthouse Protectors” plans to submit a petition to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris and the National Administration of Cultural Heritage in Beijing within a fortnight as part of its ongoing struggle to protect the view of, and view from, the world-heritage lighthouse on Guia Hill, a member of the group told The Macau Post Daily last night.
Asking to remain anonymous, one of the league’s members said the petition was currently being translated from Chinese into English. The heritage-protection activist said that some of the league’s members had already sent “individual” petitions to the UNESCO to alert the Paris-based organization about the danger to Macau’s world-heritage monuments and sites, such as the Guia Lighthouse, by high-rise and other “unbalanced” construction projects.
The source said the league had currently 15 members, comprising architects, engineers and historians. The league has set up a “Save the View of the Lighthouse” blog (http://guialighthouse.blogspot.com) to promote its cause.
The source said the league planned to host exhibitions and seminar to encourage public dialogue and debate on the controversy revolving about the proliferation of high-rise buildings threatening the encroach upon Macau’s world-heritage monuments and sites.
“We urge citizens to join forces to save our city from destruction by high-rise developments,” the source said, adding, “Without public consultation and participation, our city would become the victim of opportunistic development.”
According to the source, the league is considering to launch a “one person, one letter” campaign “to tell UNESCO about the plight of the world-heritage in Macau.”
Three high-rise construction projects – one of which would reportedly reach a height of 135 metres – in the Outer Harbour in front of the 90-metre high Guia Hill have caused a pulbic outcry because of fears that the “monster buildings” would block the view of, and view from, the Guia Lighthouse that is part of Macau’s UNESCO-protected world heritage.
The Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) said earlier this month it was trying to find a “moderate solution” to the controversy surrounding the three high-rise building projects in Zape (Outer Harbour land reclamation zone). The Cultural Affairs Bureau (ICM) pledged last week it would continue striving to find a “balance” between Macau’s heritage-protection needs and development boom.