Consultation on Lai Chi Vun shipyards starts Monday

This 2017 image shows a part of the abandoned Lai Chi Vun shipyards

The Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) will conclude a report on the evaluation of the Lai Chi Vun shipyards within 12 months. This was the announcement of the acting deputy-director of the IC, Leong Wai Man, at a press conference yesterday.

Leong believes that the IC will be able to finish the work earlier than the 12-month deadline.

The local government will also deliver a report on Macau’s historical city protection to UNESCO.

From January 20 to March 20, the IC will carry out two public consultations: one regarding the protection and management plan of Macau’s historical city and one about the property evaluation regarding the Lai Chi Vun shipyards.

The evaluation of the Lai Chi Vun shipyards will also include the harbor in front of the shipyards, as well as the roads on the other side of the shipyards.

According to Leong, to assess their value, the Lai Chi Vun shipyards will be sorted into three categories: buildings, architectures and memorials.

The Lai Chi Vun shipyards are being evaluated to determine whether they meet the MSAR’s legal definition of cultural relics. The site is potentially significant because Macau’s shipbuilding industry began at the shipyards and because of the formation of a historical village near the area.

When addressing the evaluation, Leong pointed out that Lai Chi Vun, like other facilities, will be evaluated to assess whether it is a human creation with important cultural value or a joint creation made by both humans and nature.

“The most important is their landscape value,” stressed Leong.

There were originally 14 shipyards; two have already been demolished, and three will be transferred to the IC for management.

During the passage of typhoon Hato, the shipyards were damaged.

“Last year, we reinforced the Lai Chi Vun shipyards,” Leong said. “After Hato, we did another reinforcement work. Later, we will increase the number of our inspections.”

When commenting on whether the government will deliver a report to the United Nations, regarding the evaluation of the Lai Chi Vun shipyards, Leong said the MSAR does not intend to, because, “regardless of the results, evaluations which do not concern the historical city do not need to have a report delivered to the UN.”

According to Leong’s explanation, the Lai Chi Vun shipyards valuable because of their relationship with the mountain and water and their role as a witness of Macau’s former shipbuilding industry. JZ

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