“HKU Heritage Sights and Sites” unveiled

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2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the 111th anniversary of The University of Hong Kong. To commemorate this special year, the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office and the Antiquities and Monuments Office under the Development Bureau collaborated with The University of Hong Kong (HKU) to launch the project “HKU Heritage Sights and Sites”. Ms Bernadette Linn, JP, Secretary for Development; and Professor Xiang Zhang, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKU officiated at the Launch Ceremony.

“HKU Heritage Sights and Sites” is the first audio guide project in appreciation of Hong Kong historic buildings launched after the Greater Bay Area Built Heritage Summit held from 9 to 10 November 2022. The Summit was jointly organised by the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office and the Antiquities and Monuments Office under the Development Bureau. Under the theme of built heritage conservation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), the Summit aims at facilitating exchanges on conservation, revitalisation and education of built heritage in the area and exploring the way forward in future collaboration.

The audio guide project covers 13 historic buildings on and around the HKU campus, amongst which the exteriors of seven of them are declared monuments. They include the Main Building, the University Hall, Hung Hing Ying Building, Tang Chi Ngong Building, Fung Ping Shan Building, Eliot Hall and May Hall. In addition, there are six graded historic buildings associated with the history of water supplies in Hong Kong.

Professor Zhang Xiang, President and Vice-Chancellor of HKU said: “For the first time, people who can’t visit our University in-person, including those with disabilities, can finally join our journey by accessing the digital guide online. Innovation is meaningless unless it benefits everyone. This initiative ensures that all of us can participate. As the keepers of our history, we are setting-up a special fund that will further promote our heritage while leveraging the opportunities that technology gives us. This includes an exciting series of art works presented in the form of NFTs, which showcase our milestones from 1911 onwards.”

Ms Bernadette Linn, Secretary for Development said: “This activity resonates with one of the topics in the Greater Bay Area Built Heritage Summit on expanding and enhancing the promotion and education of built heritage. Based on the unfailing effort in heritage conservation, we will promote the exquisite group of historic buildings for public appreciation. It will also sustain our historic value, making Hong Kong a livable city with charisma and lifestyle.”

QR codes are assigned to the featured historic buildings and monuments.  Visitors can scan the QR codes with their smartphones to listen to a docent’s narration while appreciating the architectural characteristics of these signature buildings, to explore their historical significance, and to indulge in their aesthetics. The audio guide and photos of historic buildings are now available on the Antiquities and Monuments Office’s website .

Members of the public may listen to the audio recordings and browse the monument information, embrace the beauty of built heritage anytime, anywhere. “HKU Heritage Sights and Sites” audio guide project provides a brand-new way to appreciate the impressive historic buildings. The general public are welcome to follow their own preferences to “browse and visit” the built heritage.