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The discovery of Sacred Hill’s relics in the construction site of To Kwa Wan Station aroused a great concern to the public. Many scholars believe that it is the largest Sung historical site found in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the information released last month by the HKSAR government and MTR is inconsistent and chaotic. Meanwhile, the inadvertent interim archaeological report (of the first phase area) is substandard to the basic archaeological field report.
In-situ conservation will be incapable once the fragile structure of millennium monuments are destroyed or moved. Hong Kong people will lose an irreparable cultural heritage permanently if we do not stop the construction. The MTR Corporation Antiquities and Monuments Office, AMO (Antiquities and Monuments Office), AAB (Antiquities Advisory Board) and Development Bureau are shirking the responsibilities. There are no clear arrangements of the conservation plan or the publication of information. The government has disappointed the public as it does not commit to preserve the historical site with international standards, such as “Burra Charter” and the “Protection Standards of China’s Cultural Relics”
To Secretary for Development,
We, the undersigned, hereby petition to the following demands:
1. Declare the Sacred Hill historical site as “proposed monument”
The government should declare the first, second and third phase of archaeological sites as “proposed monuments” under the Section 2A of “the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance”. This should be done for a period of 12 months or until the completion of a comprehensive evaluation of the archaeological works and conservation.
2. Obtain a permit before the construction continued.
According to the Section 6 of “the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance”, the MTR Corporation should obtain a permit granted by the Antiquities Authority before the construction takes place to ensure the monuments are not destroyed.
3. Comprehensive in-situ conservation-based
Since the monuments and antiquities have been removed from the first phase of the archaeological site, the government should restore the site as much as possible. In addition, the monuments of the second and third phase of archaeological sites should be retained.
4. Develop a new construction plan
The Government should instruct the MTR Corporation to modify the design of To Kwa Wan Station immediately to avoid the destruction of monuments and relics of Sacred Hill. After the comprehensive archaeological survey and evaluation are completed, the construction can be continued with the modified plan.
5. Real-time monitoring for the public
The government should follow the principle of “Public Archaeology” and explore the progress of archaeological excavations to the public with the remote transmission technology in order for the public to know the progress of the archaeological excavations through real-time monitoring. This is beneficial for the consensus of the community and to raise public awareness of Hong Kong history. Additionally it provides a rare opportunity for the public to have an excellent liberal lesson.
This petition was started by 捍衛宋朝遺址行動組 on May 29, 2014, with an end date of January 1, 2018.