Workers Are Scrambling to Finish Construction of the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum

Workers Are Scrambling to Finish Construction of the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum
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During his presidential campaign, President Ma Ying-jeou said the branch would be opened at the end of April in 2012. He said the construction would be listed in the “I-Taiwan 12 Projects.” However, he failed to realize this promise. Ma said again this March that the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum in Chiayi would be open for a trial operation on December 28. To realize his words, construction workers are scrambling and working 24 hours a day.

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The Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum in Chiayi will open on December 28. However, until December 24, the museum was still under construction. Some construction workers reveal to councilors that there is a lot of construction waiting to be finished. They are afraid that a cursory opening would turn the museum into an international joke.

Sanlih E-Television reports, during his presidential campaign, President Ma Ying-jeou said the branch would be opened at the end of April in 2012. He said the construction would be listed in the “I-Taiwan 12 Projects.” However, he failed to realize this promise. Ma said again this March that the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum in Chiayi would be open for a trial operation on December 28. To realize his words, construction workers are scrambling and working 24 hours a day.

With only three days left until its trial operation, Chiayi County Councilor Huang Ying-jun points out that the museum is not just unprepared, but both inside and outside the museum are in a mess. The employees of the museum reveal that the escalators and revolving doors have not been set up yet, and the outdoor areas are also filled with dust and sand.

China Times reports, the lighting ceremony for the main building of the museum and its opening exhibition will be held on December 27. Jadeite Cabbage, the famous sculpture, will be exhibited there for ten months. National Palace Museum Director Feng Ming-chu says, the Southern Branch will bring in commercial opportunities for Chiayi; however, it has been 15 years since the decision to build the Southern Branch was made, with a total budget of nearly NT$8 billion, (approximately US$244.17 million).

Chiayi County Chairman Chang Ming-ta says, in order to open the Southern Branch, Chiayi County Government has supported its fire protection, construction and management a lot. Yet up to December 24, one of the showrooms of the Southern Branch had not yet been decorated. The construction of the tourist service facilities still needs to be completed as well. He says this will influence the staff training, disaster simulation and stress test.

Regarding this, the director of the Southern Branch, Wang Shih-shen, says that the museum is setting up its exhibitions, and they have already been issued a building license. The construction will be completed in the next few days.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang

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