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Culture Ministry mulls photo museum

2012/08/28 18:45:44

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) The Ministry of Culture said Tuesday that it will evaluate the idea of establishing a national photography museum in 2013.

During a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan, Hsu Keng-hsiu, head of the ministry's Department of Arts Development, said the ministry was responding to requests made by an alliance promoting the establishment of a national photography museum.

Chuang Ling, chairman of the Society of Photographic Museums and Culture of Taiwan, said that many historical photographs have been lost.

Although many government agencies have been collecting these old photographs, there is no central agency charged with collating them, according to Chuang.

The government should amend the relevant laws to include photographs as a cultural asset, Chuang added.

Hsu noted that if such a photography museum is established by the government, it would need to be placed under the Ministry of Culture.

The ministry's chief secretary, Hsu Hsiao-li, agreed that "losing historical photographs is equivalent to losing cultural identity," but said that establishing an official photography museum is a long-term plan that will require careful evaluation.

Opposition Democratic Progressing Party Legislator Lee Chun-yi said that he will propose amendments to the laws preserving cultural assets at the next legislative session and will also propose a national photography museum organization act.

Photography has an important place in the field of culture and a single photograph can shape history, said national policy adviser and artist Lee Shi-chi.

In addition, photos not only preserve history but are also an important expression of art that the government should value, said Lee.

(By Tseng Ying-yu and C.J. Lin)