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Hong Kong Cultural Hub Offers Free Entry to Museum To Mark Handover Anniversary


In a gesture to commemorate the 27th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, the West Kowloon Cultural District will offer free admission to its flagship museums on July 1, officials announced Wednesday.

Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, revealed that visitors can access standard exhibitions at the M+ museum and seven thematic galleries at the Hong Kong Palace Museum without charge. However, she noted that online reservations for the Palace Museum have already reached capacity.

“Visitors who wish to explore the Palace Museum on July 1 can still purchase special tickets online or at the entrance,” Fung stated during the authority’s meeting.

The cultural hub is also set to unveil a major exhibition dedicated to renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. “I. M. Pei: Life Is Architecture” will showcase over 300 items, including original drawings and architectural models, chronicling Pei’s illustrious career. The exhibit opens on June 24 and runs through January 5, 2024.

In addition to the Pei retrospective, the Palace Museum will host a special exhibition on French fashion and jewelry from 1770 to 1910, starting June 28. This collaboration with Paris’s Museum of Decorative Arts will display more than 300 exquisite pieces spanning over a century of French design.

Despite these cultural offerings, the West Kowloon Cultural District faces financial challenges. Henry Tang Ying-yen, the district’s chairman, recently disclosed that the hub is resorting to loans as it approaches a funding shortfall by next year. Tang expressed concern over the government’s delayed response to the district’s financial plans, emphasizing the urgency of completing a study on the hub’s fiscal situation.

As Hong Kong’s premier cultural destination continues to expand its programming and complete ongoing construction projects, including the Lyric Theatre Complex, its financial stability remains a pressing issue for both administrators and the government.