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Renovated Bopilao Old Street re-opens with a festival

Taipei City Government re-opened Bopilao Old Street to the public on Saturday, inviting travelers to visit the oldest street in the capital city, which dates back to the Ching Dynasty.

"It has been a long road since we decided to renovate the Bopilao block,” said Lee Yong-ping, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs of Taipei City at Saturday's opening ceremony.
"After 10 years of negotiation and hard work, the reopening is a very emotional moment for many of us," Lee added.

Bopilao Old Street is near the intersection of Guangzhou Street and Kangding Road in Wanhua, Taipei City's oldest district.
The Bopilao area is the only street in Taipei City that maintains the original architectural style of the Ching Dynasty, which dates back more than 200 years. The Japanese occupation little affected the area.

The renovation project not only helped preserve old buildings in the area, but also infused the site with large installation art pieces, graffiti, and art exhibits. Areas that are covered by glass hail from the Ching Dynasty, while other parts are renovations based on the era.
Bopilao Old Street Festival 
The ongoing “Bopilao Old Street Cultural Festival,” which runs through November 1, exhibits artwork under the title of “Fusion.”  Seventeen  Taiwanese artists and seven international artists drew inspiration from the distinctive atmosphere of Wanhua in creating them.

"I really enjoy moving around in the area, and engaging with the local people to capture the energy of the street,” said Anthony Luensman from the United States. Luensman is one of the 24 artists featured.
"Wanhua has so many layers of history; with the renovation, I hope the area will prosper and maintain what it's got now,” said Luensman.

Starting from September 12, the cultural festival will offer performances every Saturday. Shows will be put on by artists and groups including Deserts Chang (September 12), Shiakeng Music (September 12), Contemporary Jazz Dance Theatre (September 19), Golden Bough Theatre (September 19) , Europa Huang (October 24), Niu Chen-zer (October 24), Yang Ya-je (October 24).

Several scenes from Niu's new film, “Monga,” which will show in theaters next year, were shot in the Bopilao area.
Seminars, films and Taiwanese opera will also be held during the festival. All events are free of charge. For more information, visit http://www.bopiarts.tw or call (02)2392-9498