The CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District, Duncan Pescod, has ridiculed the idea that a museum to house relics from Beijing's Palace Museum would be out of place in Hong Kong's future arts hub. The Beijing museum houses relics from the Forbidden City, China's imperial palace.
A former consultant for the cultural district, Oscar Ho, has said a Hong Kong version of the Palace Museum should be put somewhere else, especially if it is just a tool to promote patriotism.
But Pescod says nothing could be more culturally and artistically valid than a Hong Kong version of the Palace Museum at the West Kowloon Cultural District.
“I think we’re very lucky to have what will be one of the most amazing collections coming to permanent exhibition in Hong Kong,” he said.
“Honestly, I think cities around the world would be prepared to cut off their left hand for something as spectacular as this.”
Pescod said he failed to understand how anybody could not see how one of the world’s great museums coming to Hong Kong would be anything other than a positive.
Ho, an Associate Professor with the Department of Cultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the museum plan would disturb the totality of the hub. He called it a "patriotic promotion".
He told RTHK’s Janice Wong that the administration needs to come out with more details to justify the plan.
The Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, announced on Friday that the government was going to build the 10,000 square metre museum to display antiques from the Forbidden City. The project will cost HK$3.5 billion and will be fully-funded by the Jockey Club.
Lam said discussions with the Beijing Palace Museum started a year ago, without informing the Legislative Council. She said as the project will be fully-funded by the Jockey Club, it did not require the council's approval. When asked about the lack of consultation, Lam said: "I would have thought that many Hong Kong people should be very happy about this project".