|August 30, 2000|
New Museums Celebrate The New Millennium In Hong Kong
|There's an impressive line-up of new museums opening in Hong Kong this year, adding to all the excitement that this millennium year has brought. Visitors can choose to visit Madame Tussaud's, or the Museum of Coastal Defence, the Heritage Museum or the Hong Kong Film Archive. Or they may decide to visit them all, for a vastly different experience is offered in each.|
Madame Tussaud's Hong Kong is the permanent base in Asia for London's famous Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. The new Hong Kong attraction at The Peak features over 90 life-size wax models in several themed areas. Visitors will feel they are at a celebrity party as they 'rub shoulders' with Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep, Sylvester Stallone, Luciano Pavarotti, Elvis Presley and other famous figures from the world of entertainment. For a different kind of enthusiast, a close look at the toned muscles of leading figures from the world of sports will provide a thrill. Then there's a Hall of the Great People, where Mozart, Picasso, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Gandhi and Einstein stand with members of the British Royal Family both past and present. Hitler isn't in that Hall, of course. He's in the Chamber of Horrors along with models of terrifying methods of punishment and torture and relics of the French Revolution. Amazed by the likenesses they have seen, visitors won't want to miss the final exhibition hall, called Behind the Scenes - a recreation of the working environment of Madame Tussaud's sculptors where the art of wax model making can be seen.
While world figures are the focus of Madame Tussaud's, it's Hong Kong itself that is the subject of the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence. Seven years in the making, this museum, converted from the hundred-year-old Lei Yue Mun Fort, celebrates Hong Kong's rich heritage of coastal defence. The Museum is surrounded by the sea on three sides, offering spectacular views of historic Victoria Harbour.
Inside, a major exhibition reveals Hong Kong's history. Most of this history has been closely linked to the sea, from the days 600 years ago when Hong Kong guarded the southern gateway to China from pirate and colonialist invasions to the events of modern times involving the British, Japanese and the resumption of Chinese sovereignty. The fascinating story is told with textual and graphical illustrations, multi-media programmes and some 400 items of military artifacts, including gun batteries, a torpedo station, caponiers and magazines. The souvenir shop is sure to be fascinating!
Excitement will fill the cultural air of Hong Kong this coming fall when the Hong Kong Heritage Museum at Sha Tin will open to celebrate the new millennium and to delight and educate visitors for generations to come. Within its traditional Chinese architectural design, visitors will find state-of-the-art technology and a wide variety of features.
Cantonese opera and other musical presentations will be offered in the hi-tech Auditorium; seminar rooms and education studios will cater to the public's need for learning; a film Our Living Heritage will be screened in the Orientation Theatre, while an array of interactive and hands-on exhibits will take children on a voyage of discovery in the Children's Gallery. And that's just the beginning! The New Territories Heritage hall will take visitors through eight time tunnels that reveal the 6,000-year history of the New Territories. The T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art will display ancient Chinese bronzes, ceramics, pottery, statues and paintings while other important galleries demonstrate the arts and skills associated with opera, manuscripts, sketches, comics, woodblock printing and even digital art. There's such a lot to see visitors will welcome the good food and beautiful views at the museum's café during their visit, as well as the wide range of items and publications available at the gift shop.
As the world's third-largest film production centre, Hong Kong Film Archive has the responsibility to acquire, conserve, catalogue, document, research on and exhibit Hong Kong film and related material. A permanent building to house the Archive will be completed in Sai Wan Ho on November 8, 2000. With a net area of 7,200 square metres, the Archive will include a temperature-controlled film store; conservation laboratories; filmographic and technical information records; an exhibition hall and a film resource centre with individual viewing booths.
The Archive will serve the public in presenting non-profit-making public film shows; holding exhibitions and seminars; publishing filmographies and offering use of their film resource centre, etc. 'The Images of Hong Kong In A Century' exhibition commemorating the opening of the Archive will be held from November 8 to December 31; an Asian Film Archive Treasures Programme, screening films from film archives in seven to eight regional cities in 1930's and 1940's, will be featured from November 8-28; while Hong Kong Cinema will screen a 'Bruce Lee Retrospective' of Bruce Lee films and exhibits from November 21 to December 10.
Hong Kong has long been renowned for its outstanding cultural attractions including 16 major museums. Now, with these four new museums, travellers will have even more reasons to visit Hong Kong and to stay longer. All museums and declared monuments in Hong Kong are listed in the "Museums & Heritage" brochure available at the HKTA Information Centres in Hong Kong.
Visitors over 60 planning a visit to Hong Kong can obtain an exclusive coupon booklet from the HKTA. The coupons offer free or discounted tours and attractions. The booklets are available on a first-come-first-serve basis and can be used until the last date of the Year of the Dragon - January 23, 2001. One of the most exciting coupons is a free museum pass for an entire month of unlimited access to four top museums: the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum. There is also a free four-day Star Ferry/Tram Pass, free Heritage & Architecture Walks and free admission to Ocean Park, Hong Kong's premier theme park.