The Penghu 10th Regional Forum of the 2018 National Cultural Heritage Congress was held on July 28 at the Penghu Living Museum. Participants hailed from the Taiwan Hakka Culture Development Center and the Penghu County Government, as well as scholars, experts, local artists, historians, and representatives of heritage preservation groups.
The forum played host to talks on issues including monitoring and reviewing cultural heritage listings, private collections of cultural assets, assessing the value of cultural heritage, integrating cultural heritage with tourism, principles of preservation of underwater cultural assets, surveying intangible cultural heritage, promoting cultural heritage education, preservation of natural landscapes, and surveying and study of antiques.
Penghu County Bureau of Culture Director Cheng Chia-wei (鄭嘉薇) said that her bureau has already begun the process of reporting the work of preservers of Taiwanese "praise songs (褒歌)," as well as restoration work on traditional architecture and collections associated historical memories, and systematically and scientifically studying local antiquities.
She also thanked the central government for its long-time investment of resources into Penghu, and spoke of hopes for the Penghu County Government to quickly establish a specialized agency for cultural heritage.
Director of the Bureau of Cultural Heritage Shy Gwo-long (施國隆) also spoke of the important, unique, and rich cultural heritage of Penghu, and its distinctive place as the sole region from Taiwan's 18 potential World Heritage Sites to have underwater, natural, and cultural assets side by side.
He added that Taiwan will also be hosting 2019 events for the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage and the 2020 Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage, a further indication of the country's rich underwater cultural heritage.
With regard to monitoring listings, local authorities have been requested to undertake their own surveys and take public reports, as well as being advised to set down rules for regular monitoring and review. In the event of an emergency, sites may be named interim monuments in line with Article 20 of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act.
The Ministry is also looking into mechanisms for incentivizing private collection of cultural heritage, such as establishing compensation measures for land and buildings, and tax breaks for transference of building capacity, estate tax, land tax, and housing tax alongside the current subsidy system.
On top of these measures, education and awareness around cultural heritage will be strengthened by encouraging the general public to work together on protecting these assets and making the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act provisions the minimum standard.
In the future, there are plans for a National Cultural Heritage Center (行政法人國家文化資產中心), an administrative cooperation which will bring together government and private resources through intermediaries to resolve disputes.
The 11th Regional Forum of the National Cultural Heritage Congress is set to take place in Matsu on Aug. 4. Those interested are encouraged to visit the website at http://nchc.boch.gov.tw.