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Development Bureau commends parties involved in restoration of King Yin Lei (with photos)

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (April 8) presented certificates of appreciation to all parties involved in the restoration of King Yin Lei to commend their efforts and outstanding achievements in the project.

In a ceremony held at King Yin Lei today, Mrs Lam thanked the Secretary of Guangzhou University Committee of the Communist Party of China, Mr Yi Zuoyong, for coming to Hong Kong to attend the ceremony and visit King Yin Lei. Mrs Lam bestowed special praise on Professor Tang Guohua of Guangzhou University's College of Architecture and Urban Planning for his hard work in the supervision of the restoration project over the past two years.

Mrs Lam also presented certificates of appreciation to a representative of the former owner of King Yin Lei, Mr Yow Mok-shing, and to the architects and contractors involved in the restoration work. Mrs Lam expressed her sincere gratitude for their efforts in restoring King Yin Lei to its former glory.

Mrs Lam said, "King Yin Lei was damaged in September 2007. I visited the Director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Mr Shan Jixiang, in November the same year to seek help in finding a conservation expert to assist in this difficult restoration work. With support from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, we commissioned Professor Tang Guohua of Guangzhou University to examine the site and draw up restoration proposals for King Yin Lei. During the two-year restoration work period, Professor Tang travelled back and forth between Guangzhou and Hong Kong to supervise and check on the restoration work. Professor Tang's enthusiasm and perseverance in heritage conservation is to be greatly admired.

"The King Yin Lei we see today is the result of two years' continuous work by the artisans. Through the restoration work they obtained invaluable experience and acquired long-lost skill in tasks such as restoring the terrazzo, cement tiles and plaster mouldings. These skills can be applied to similar restoration projects in future and help raise local heritage restoration standards.

"The restoration of King Yin Lei once again reflects the care and support given to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by our motherland. It is also the result of a close partnership between Guangzhou and Hong Kong. This large-scale heritage restoration project jointly carried out by experts from Guangzhou and Hong Kong will hold a significant place in the history of local heritage conservation."  

Mrs Lam also thanked the former owner of King Yin Lei, Mr Yow Mok-shing, for lending his furniture for display during the open days, so that the public could appreciate the beauty of the mansion in its former glory.

King Yin Lei was declared a monument and put under permanent statutory protection in July 2008. Restoration work commenced in September 2008 and was substantially completed by December 2010.

The Development Bureau earlier announced that King Yin Lei would be included in the third batch of historic buildings under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, in which non-profit-making organisations will be invited to submit proposals on the future use of the building. Details will be announced in June.

Ends/Friday, April 8, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:18

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The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, speaks at the ceremony.. The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam (right), presents a certificate of appreciation to the Secretary of Guangzhou University Committee of the Communist Party of China, Mr Yi Zuoyong (left).. The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam (right), presents a certificate of appreciation to Professor Tang Guohua of Guangzhou University's College of Architecture and Urban Planning (left).
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