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The Current History Conservation Insurance plan In Hong Kong

We can easily see that some valuable built history were ruined in these couple of years; however, the general public did not recognize the effects of demolishing our important built traditions and the value of conserving them. Not merely can cultural traditions enhance the uniqueness of the city, it can also donate to the civic pleasure and a feeling of possessions. Therefore, this research will discuss the potency of the heritage conservation policies in Hong Kong. The current systems are the Three-tier system and Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance. Data were gathered by supplementary research, such as governmental information, academics theses and private sector studies. After reviewing the two policies, we discovered that the strategies lack statutory capacity to protect built history and the preservation of privately held historical buildings done by the Hong Kong government is ineffective. To further establishing a thorough traditions conservation system, the heritage preservation experience of Macau provides some insights and guidelines to the local administration. By referencing its experience, we advise that Hong Kong can increase the current systems and the opportunity of safety can be prolonged to private historical monuments.


In days gone by hundreds of calendar year, Hong Kong has grown from a tiny rural community into one of the most influencing and renowned cosmopolis. By undergoing a long period of history, lots of valuable traditions legacies can be found in every district in Hong Kong. Actually, cultural heritage can support people's values and allow them to talk about a collective storage area. Therefore, it should be considered as essential and invaluable public property that are worthwhile to preserve.

In 1976, in a light of guarding historical monuments and promoting the traditions value, Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance was proven by the British colonial authorities. Some related departments have eventually set up to safeguard historical properties, such as Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), Urban Renewal Power (URA) and so on.

Unfortunately, credited to prompt financial development and large population growth, there are excellent demands for powerful urban development plus some significant historical landmarks have been demolished, including the Queen's Pier and the Celebrity Ferry Pier. Because of this, despite historical value, old properties occupying potential sites of commercial development are thought to be barriers and can't be covered properly by legal frameworks.


It is obvious to see that the history conservation in Hong Kong is yielded to the economic growth and metropolitan development. The Hong Kong federal government has neglected the value of conserving traditions and some monuments cannot be maintained for the future generation under the existing heritage preservation policies. Therefore, I find it essential to look into the efficacy of the existing policies. This paper aims at analyzing the effectiveness of present history conservation regulations and reviewing the knowledge of Macau.


Data for the insurance plan paper compiled are mainly extra data that was obtained by considerable reading of relevant journal articles, theses and records. Moreover, I utilized some governmental departments' websites to be able to obtain additional official and factual information that are persuasive enough to aid my view tips.

Existing options and effectiveness

Three-Tier Grading System of Historical Buildings

The Grading System, which is adapted to record history complexes with significant historical and architectural value, is an administrative measure without any statutory vitality. Therefore, the record is merely kept for inside reference for the government. The Grading System includes three grades, including Quality I, Grade II and Level III.

Since the System lacks statuary position and is only regarded as a research list to keep record of the historical buildings, the graded properties cannot be covered legally. Under the System, the information provided by the Grading System will just be delivered to other relevant government departments like the Planning Section which can determine whether protect the graded historical properties or not. We are able to, therefore, understand that the System is not powerful enough to inhibit the monumental architectures from destroying.

For example, the Murray House, which was built-in 1846 with traditional British isles style, was labeled as Quality I building owing to its valuable Victorian architectural design. This historical landmark was originally found in Central; however, it was dismantled in 1982 and relocated to the Stanley in try to make method for the lender of China Tower. Regrettably, due to the lost of parts of the building, this relocation didn't reflect the exceptional historical development and architectural need for 18th Century. Because of this, the AAB made a decision to remove the quality of the Murray House after browsing the area.

We can clearly observe that even the graded structures which declared as monuments cannot be guarded properly under the current system. Thus, it is critical for the federal government to offer legal power to the Level System so that the graded buildings will not be demolished easily.

Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance

The Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (AMO) is enacted in 1976 in an attempt to protect Hong Kong historical buildings. The AMO, which is carried out by the Antiquities and Monuments Office (A&M Office), provides secretarial services for Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB). Within the section three of the Ordinance, after appointment with the AAB and with the acceptance of the principle Executive, any office may declare complexes, places and sites, where in fact the Office considers to be general public interest by reason of its historical and archaeological value. Therefore, under the Ordinance, any office is accountable for declaring antiquities and historical properties into monuments or suggested monuments, which can prohibit them from demolishing.

However, the AMO does not own effective and detailed statutory power to protect privately owned or operated historical buildings. Actually, private owners have their own to reject the monumental properties declaring as monuments on the lands that they consider the land market and the income of selling the complexes more than the value of historical value. In the meantime, the developmental probable of the structures and the profit may decrease after declaration, which in turn causes them be reluctant to declare the properties into monuments. Thus, few privately owned heritage property can be protected and stored as announced monuments.

For occasion, Tiger Balm Gardens, which was created in 1935 by a wealthy Chinese philanthropist Aw Boon-haw, built-in Chinese language Renaissance Style with a distinctive mixture of Chinese and Western varieties of artistic decor. The owners of the Gardens published a proposal required the demolition of the complete heritage structures in 1999; however when the A&M Office recognized and approached the problem, the real property developers had bought the land and dismantled part of the structures for the redevelopment. Therefore, it is important for the AMO to promote private sector contribution in history conservation and a thorough mechanism of payment can be established.

The Macau's experience

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the history conservation policies in Hong Kong, related experiences of other countries will be examined. In fact, assessing the conservation insurance policies between different places is unquestionably an efficient way to accomplish better approach to the preservation of the built cultural history in developed countries. In this part, the heritage conservation guidelines of Macau will be explored; therefore, I hope that their experiences can give Hong Kong an information into saving heritage.

The reason why I take the types of Macau is that we now have lots of similarities between Hong Kong and Macau, like the high populace density and fast economic growth. More importantly, they both colonized by Britain and Portugal, which might lead to both countries possessing great historical and ethnical value. Thus, it will be easier for Hong Kong to seek advice from Macau.

In Macau, Cultural Institute (CI) and Cultural Heritage Department (CHD) will be the primary statutory departments of traditions conservation. The legal classification system of built heritage, which is in order by both of these departments, is contains four categories, namely The Monument, The Organic, THE WEBSITES and Building of Architectural Interest. Beneath the classification system, authorization from the federal government is necessary before any maintenance, injuries and demolition; therefore, most historical structures in Macau are conserved well. At this point, 128 built heritages are conserved and classified as social properties in Macau, including 52 will be the Monument, 11 will be the Complexes, 22 are The Sites and 44 are Building of Architectural Interest. Looking at with Hong Kong, the classification system in Macau is granted with legal make and then the classified historical complexes will not be demolished by any parties of culture.

Apart from the classification system, the Macau Federal government has set up a Cultural Finance in a bid to cover the expense of repairing and repairing the historical properties. As a result, owners of privately held heritage are willing to give consent to declare the historical buildings as monuments. Moreover, the Macau administration has tried their finest to invest on revitalizing the historical structures. Ruins of St. Paulo, Sao Domingos Square and Leal Senado Square, for example, are conserved and used again for cultural and commercial purposes. By incorporating the ideas of conservation and financial development, the social traditions can be reversed properly and have become famous places of interest. We can obviously see the determination and sincerity of the Macau federal government in conserving the traditions.


The findings evidently point out that the traditions conservation policies aren't comprehensive and effective enough to safeguard local historical monuments. A number of the insurance policies cannot protect privately possessed history while other cannot access their legal make to safeguard monuments. It can be figured to encourage public involvement in traditions preservation, Hong Kong have to talk to other countries' viewpoints so that people can develop a clearer history conservation system to protect valuable monumental complexes.


Improvement of the grading system

Since some historical properties may well not be preserved correctly under the prevailing grading system, I suggest that the requirements of grading complexes become more objective and transparent. Therefore, it's important for the federal government and relevant departments to reform the grading system.

Incentives to private owners of historical complexes.

Given a lack of incentives and no clear regulations regarding the reimbursement for conserving privately owned historical buildings, I would recommend that a affordable and comprehensive reimbursement be provided to encourage private owners repair and maintain the complexes. Besides, tax relief which really is a financial tool to help private owners to revive and keep maintaining the privately owned or operated historical buildings can be offered as conservation incentives. As a result, a variety of Hong Kong's monuments can be shielded for future technology.

Establishment of funding

In view of inadequate support and perseverance of local government in heritage conservation, it is highly recommend that the government provide funding to aid preserving built history. It may be useful and effective for the federal government to cooperate with private organizations and non-profit organizations. Both donations and efforts can be gathered as a source of funding so the maintenance cost of historical buildings can be protected and reduced.

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