Through the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO),
the department plays an active role in the preservation and promotion
of Hong Kong's archaeological heritage. A highlight of the year was
the designation of Tin Hau Temple in Lung Yeuk Tau, Fanling and Hung
Shing Temple in Kau Sai Chau, Sai Kung as "declared monuments",
bringing the number in Hong Kong to 77. The AMO also carried out
restoration and repair work on 23 historical buildings, including
the Man Mo Temple in Tai Po, Yeung Hau Temple in Ping Shan, Man Lun
Fung Ancestral Hall in San Tin, Hau Mei Fung Ancestral Hall in Sheung
Shui and Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall in Lung Yeuk Tau, Fanling.
The AMO continues to conduct rescue excavations
at archaeological sites threatened by development and to monitor
other sites. Some 200 such operations were undertaken in 2002.
The AMO also processed 140 environmental impact assessment studies
during the year and made numerous recommendations to minimise impact
of development proposals on our cultural heritage.
Public response to the Hong Kong Heritage Awards
(2001), jointly organised by the AMO and the Antiquities Advisory
Board, was encouraging. An adjudication panel, comprising both
overseas and local scholars and professionals, selected the winning
entries in early 2002. The award ceremony was held on August 30,
2002, at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
To promote public awareness in Hong Kong's heritage,
the AMO is converting the premises of the former Hong Kong Museum
of History in Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui into a heritage resource
centre. The centre, to be open in late 2004, will be equipped with
exhibition galleries, a lecture theatre, an archaeological repository,
activity rooms and a reference library.