Lai Chi Vun Shipyard Museum opens to public

Kuan Wong, director of Shipbuilding Craft Culture Association

Macau’s first museum featuring shipbuilding craft techniques and shipyard history is now open in Coloane village, at the Estrada de Lai Chi Vun.
On Friday, the Shipbuilding Craft Culture Association held a ceremony to inaugurate the opening of the Lai Chi Vun Shipyard Museum.
Located at the office of Macau-Taipa Coloane Shipbuilders Association, the small museum occupies an area of approximately six square meters.
This will be the first time these shipyards are presented to members of the public since late 2018, when the local government officially listed them as immovable property.
“It is the opening of a new page for Macau shipbuilding culture,” the Shipbuilding Craft Culture Association said.
At the museum, visitors will be able to see shipbuilding tools which were used by Macau’s shipbuilders, as well as depictions of fishing vessels from different times.
Through the exhibition, the association hopes to inspire members of the public to think about Lai Chi Vun Shipyards’ resurrection.
At the sidelines of the opening ceremony, Kuan Wong, director of Shipbuilding Craft Culture Association, told the Times that since the government listed Lai Chi Van Shipyards as an immovable property, “not much new progress has been made” by the government for these shipyards, adding that only recently did the government begin performing basic maintenance on the buildings.
“We are looking forward to the future plan, how it [the plan] will unfold,” said Wong, who hopes the government can get in touch with the Lai Chi Vun’s local community to learn about their lives.
Previously, the government revealed one of its proposals for the Lai Chi Van shipyard, which consisted of constructing a museum on the site. In Wong’s opinion, the government’s proposal is “ambiguous and unsubstantial.”
“We wonder if only one of the buildings will be made into a museum or the entire area? We wonder what will be planned for the entire area,” said Wong.
Speaking on behalf of the association, Wong remarked that her group hopes that building a museum will not be the only plan for the shipyards’ redevelopment but there can be other ways of bringing this property to life.
Wong believes that the government should first understand the lives of people who are in the neighboring community of Lai Chi Vun shipyards before making an overall plan for the buildings.

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