Preservation campaigns from Piers (in Hong Kong) to Guia Lighthouse (in Macau)
Submitted by oiwan on Sat, 2007-01-13 22:08. Culture | History | Macau | Stories and Commentaries
In Hong Kong, there is the anti-demolition of Star Ferry Pier and Queen's Pier; while in Macau, the campaign to protect Guia Lighthouse begins to emerge.
The Guia Complex, which includes a historical military fort, chapel and lighthouse, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fort and chapel were constructed between 1622 and 1638. The lighthouse was constructed between 1864 and 1865, the first western style lighthouse in east Asia or on the China coast.
In October 2006, the Macau Government announced a gigantic construction project which includes a new home for Beijing's Liaison Office. With such construction plan, Macau's signature lighthouse will be hidden from large portions of the city, and, perhaps the harbour.
The project at the foot of Macau's Guia Hill comprises a 135 metre tall tower, a 99.12 metre tower, with other tall buildings in a line spanning some 300 metres, while the Guia Hill is only 91 metres in height.
The height of Beijing's Liaison Office (99.12 metres) is designed to commemorate December 1999, the year of Macau's return to Chinese sovereignty. The building is already under construction and will be complete next December to commemorate the eighth anniversary of Macau's handover.
The Association for the Protection of Macau's Historical and Cultural Heritage warned the Macau government that if the high-rise buildings turned out to “block the view” of the Guia Lighthouse, it would upset the feelings of many residents.
Earlier in 2006, the Macau government uplifted two decrees that stipulated maximum construction heights in that area. The Land, Public Works and Transportation Office said the revocation stemmed from "the need to modernize the legislation, already 15 years old and completely outdated, out of touch with the gambling sector development and the increasing need for building sites". Since 2006 summer, there have been a few heritage disputes in Macau. Activists have been fighting against a building plan that threatened to block the sea view from the A-Ma Temple, a World Heritage site honoring the goddess of seafarers and protesting against a government plan to demolish the Little Blue House - a historic mansion that isn't on the World Heritage list.
According to the Macau Post Daily (January 10, 2007), heritage management expert, Mr. Imon, stressed that the UNESCO in Paris has a so-called “World Heritage in Danger List” that comprises properties deemed by the organization to be in peril because of adverse developments in their surroundings. In case of a world-heritage property's inclusion in the “danger list,” the UNESCO may issue a warning in order to urge the respective country [China in the case of Macau] to “stop the damage” and to remedy the situation.
For update information please go to Guia Lighthouse