The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in her capacity as the Antiquities Authority, today (January 28) declared Ho Tung Gardens at 75 Peak Road as a proposed monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Chapter 53).
The declaration, which is published in today's Gazette, will be effective for 12 months. During the period, Ho Tung Gardens will be subject to legal protection provided under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance. The protection includes the prohibition of any building or other works on the proposed monument, or any actions to demolish, remove, obstruct, deface or interfere with the proposed monument unless a permit is granted by the Antiquities Authority.
A spokesman for the Development Bureau said that the declaration would provide Ho Tung Gardens with legal protection for 12 months and allow more time for the Administration to further discuss options to preserve Ho Tung Gardens with the owner. In the meantime, the Antiquities Authority will consider in a comprehensive manner whether or not Ho Tung Gardens should be declared a monument on a permanent basis under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
The Development Bureau has explained to the owner of Ho Tung Gardens the legal effect of the declaration. The Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) wrote to the owner today to formally notify her of the declaration of proposed monument in accordance with the established procedures.
Ho Tung Gardens has high historic and architectural value. Mr Robert Ho Tung was a prominent community leader in the years following the establishment of Hong Kong as a port, actively participating in and making significant contributions to different spheres of local affairs. He was the first non-European to receive permission from the then Hong Kong Government to reside in the Peak area. Ho Tung Gardens symbolises the rising status of the Chinese community and is the only remaining residence directly related to Mr Robert Ho Tung in Hong Kong. It is also a masterpiece among the few buildings in Chinese Renaissance style in Hong Kong.
The Antiquities Advisory Board confirmed on January 25 the Grade 1 status of Ho Tung Gardens and supported the action of the Government in declaring Ho Tung Gardens as a proposed monument. The Development Bureau is actively continuing the discussion with the owner on preservation options.
Ends/Friday, January 28, 2011
Issued at HKT 15:16