Orsay Museum eyes Hong Kong arts hub

4th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

HONG KONG, Feb 4 (AFP) - Paris's prestigious art museum Musee d'Orsay is in talks with a Hong Kong company to help develop a controversial cultural hub in the former British colony, an official said Friday.

HONG KONG, Feb 4 (AFP) - Paris's prestigious art museum Musee d'Orsay is in talks with a Hong Kong company to help develop a controversial cultural hub in the former British colony, an official said Friday.

The museum hopes to provide collections of art works in the heart of a 40-hectare spit of reclaimed land on the shores of the Kowloon district that has been earmarked by the government as an arts hub housing a string of cultural and sports centres.

Speaking at an interview with the press, museum president Serge Lemoine said he has been approached by Henderson Land Development and is "very interested" in the so-called West Kowloon Cultural Hub project.

"Henderson has approached Musee d'Orsay. We would be very interested in a cooperation," he said, adding that talks were at an "early stage" without giving further details.

"We can use our expertise with art works.... If there is a chance, we will bring to Hong Kong arts work from the second half of the 19th century, 20th century and contemporary art," he said ahead of the opening of an exhibition of 47 Impressionist masterpieces.

As part of "The Year of France in China", the internationally-acclaimed works of art will be on display in the territory for the first time.

Lemoine said it hopes to bring more western culture into Asia and China. "Hong Kong is ... not only a Chinese city but an international city. It should have more art exhibitions here," he said.

He also lauded the Hong Kong government's interest in developing a cultural hub but declined to comment on the controversy surrounding the USD 3 billion project.

The government has been criticised for its plan to select a single developer for the project, with critics charging that the approach favours a single group at the expense of the city's other developers.

Apart from Henderson Land, two other parties were also short-listed for the project by the government in November: a consortium of Sun Hung Kai Properties and Cheung Kong Holdings; and another consortium comprising Sino Land, Wharf Holdings and Chinese Estates.

The government was unable to proceed to the next step of selecting a developer for the project from the three contenders following widespread criticism of its plans.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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