Secretary for Development visits Macao (with photos)

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the invitation of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government, visited Macao today (July 23) to learn about the city's heritage preservation work.

Accompanied by the Deputy Secretary for Development (Works), Miss Janet Wong, and the Commissioner for Heritage, Mr Jack Chan, Mrs Lam paid a courtesy call on the President of the Instituto Cultural, Mr Ho Lai-chun da Luz, in the morning. Mrs Lam was briefed on Macao's UNESCO World Heritage status, the means to protect and revitalise historical buildings, as well as laws related to heritage protection in the Macao SAR.

Mrs Lam met with the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Mr Fernando Chui Sai-on, over lunch.  Mrs Lam exchanged views and experiences of conservation and revitalisation of historic buildings in Hong Kong with Mr Chui.  She also introduced to him progress on the various initiatives on heritage preservation announced by the HKSARG last year, including the latest partnership with the Hong Kong Jockey Club to revitalise the Central Police Station and efforts of the Urban Renewal Authority in preserving pre-war shop houses in Hong Kong. Mrs Lam expressed appreciation to Secretary Chui for his invitation. 

In the afternoon, the delegation visited various special buildings in the historic centre of Macao which has been inscribed on the list of UNESCO prestigious World Heritage List since 2005.  They proceeded to Largo de Santo Agostinho to visit  Dom Pedro V Theatre, a western-style theatre dating back to 1860, and its nearby Sir Robert Ho Tung Library to appreciate its architectural design.

The delegation then visited Tak Seng On.  Built in 1917, it is a typical pawnshop of that era.  The building has been successfully restored and altered into a Cultural Club.  It is a pioneering heritage preservation and adaptive re-use project in Macao involving both the government and the private sector.

Mrs Lam also visited the Museum of the Holy House of Mercy.  Inaugurated in 2001, the museum exhibits artifacts that represent the history of the institution.  The museum is located on the second floor of the Holy House of Mercy while the ground floor of the building is occupied by the Macao SAR Government as office.

The tour ended with a visit to Lou Kau Mansion, a traditional Chinese-style residence with western influence reflected in the ceilings, windows, railings. The building is part of the Macao's historic city which the Instituto Cultural is responsible for its management and restoration.

Ends/Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Issued at HKT 20:26


The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Mr Fernando Chui Sai-on, presents a souvenir to the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam. The Director General of the Macao Heritage Ambassadors Association, Ms Pearl Chao Wai-chu (right), briefing the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, on the Macao SAR Government's efforts in preserving the Tak Seng On. On the left is the Chief of the Cultural Heritage Department of the Macao SAR Government, Mr Cheong Cheok-kio.