One of the houses most symbolic of Macau’s historical center has been listed for sale. Bidding on the Lilau mansion, a three-story building facing the famous Lilau Square and close to the Mandarin house, will commence at an open-house event on February 26, starting at HKD250 million.
The information was released in a press statement from iAOHiN Gallery.
The building, which is currently owned by Isabel Chiang, has housed two art galleries in the last few years.
The house is said to have been recently priced at a sum of HKD240 million. According to information to which the Times had access, it has been mortgaged twice in 2014 and 2015 for a combined total of HKD90 million.
In the press release, Chiang said that the house’s sale follows the decision to close the art galleries operating in the building, due to high maintenance costs.
Chiang is known for her recent involvement with the acquisition of several buildings in historical areas, which were developed for creative projects such as the one by Number 81, which established a number of retail shops at Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo and Patio de Chon Sau, near the famous Ruins of St. Paul’s.
“This cooperation leverages our ability to promote Lilau Square, which is a wonderful plaza with rich history, yet little known and rarely visited by locals and tourists alike,” said Simon Lam, iAOHiN Gallery’s curator. Lam will host the open-house heritage event.
This event will count among many others, such as talks by the president of the Association for Macanese Education (APIM) Miguel Senna Fernandes, and the architect Francisco Vizeu Pinheiro, who will discuss Lilau Square’s 400-year history.
It is not clear who might be interested in acquiring such a historical building, but the event organizers have said that the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) might be a suitable candidate to preserve the monument and keep it in the public domain.
Chiang wants the space to be used for cultural events and heritage seminars.
The mansion, which was restored in 2014, still features much of its original architectural features, including wooden windows with exterior window shutters, plaster moldings and hardwood roof beams.
A series of bronze sculptures by the French sculptor Jacques Le Nantec will be on display at the event. Le Nantec’s Rua de Lilau studio is right behind the mansion, and the artist is known for his passion for the square and the surrounding area.
The open-house heritage event will feature a live painting session by contemporary painter Tashi Norbu, a fashion exhibition by local designer Ana Cardoso, and a cello, violin and harp concert by Daniel Leong, Ng U Tong and Elisa Chon.