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Taipei Zhongshan Hall reopens with two special exhibits

By Yali Chen

Taipei Zhongshan Hall reopened with two special exhibits May 6 after its four-month internal renovation in 2011. Its Zhongzheng and Guangfu auditoriums on the first and second stories are now open to the public while the third and forth floors are scheduled to reopen in the second half of this year.

“Taipei city government spent NT$30 million on the renovation and redecoration,” said Hsieh Hsiao-yun, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government.

From 1895 to 1945, Taiwan was under Japanese rule. To mark the ascension of the Japanese Emperor Hirohito in 1928, its government built a hall in Taipei in 1932. Four years later, the construction of the building, Taipei City Hall, was finished.

After the end of World War II in 1945, the building was renamed Taipei Zhongshan Hall under ruling Kuomintang government.

The first group wedding in Taiwan took place in 1946 when eight grooms and brides got married in that hall, Hsieh said, adding that Lin Chen-chi, senior advisor to the President and ex-minister of the Council for Cultural Affairs, also got married here about five decades ago.

Listed as a national cultural monument by the Ministry of the Interior in 1992, the hall functioned as an official meeting venue and a cultural center.

Since 1998 the hall has given a series of cultural and art events, said Li Li-zhu, Director of the Taipei Zhongshan Hall Administration Office.

To celebrate its reopening in early May, 2011, the hall is holding two exhibitions that feature the past Taipei Zhongshan Hall and Taipei City, Li added. Those exhibits running through Dec. 31 and June 30 respectively will provide viewers with a glimpse into the major events and developments in the history of Taipei.

Ten performances given by the Brass Quintet of Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the Ming Hua Yuan Arts and Culture Group, Taipei Chinese Orchestra and Taipei Zhonghzheng Community College will take place in front of the hall May 7-21.