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The Chi Mei Group Proudly Donates the Chi Mei Building in the "Tainan Metropolitan Park"
[Tainan; May 17, 2012] After three years of construction work, the Chi Mei Building in the "Tainan Metropolitan Park" is nearing completion. In a simple but solemn ritual, Chi Mei Group Founder Shi Wen-Long and Chi Mei Corp. Chairman Frank Liao today donated this building to the government of Tainan City, and Mayor Lai Ching-teh was on hand to personally accept the donation. Both Chi Mei and the city government hope that this world-class museum building will be one of Tainan's most distinctive cultural landmarks in the future. Mayor Lai Ching-teh praised Chi Mei at this event as a model for corporate payback to society.
During the donation ritual, Shi Wen-Long took the opportunity to unveil the sculpture "Angel of Glory", which is an enlarged copy of a work in Shi's collection. The sculpture is 4.2 m in height and made of gilded bronze. It stands at the very top of the museum building, where it watches over the museum and confers blessings on mankind.
In the "Tainan Metropolitan Park," the Chi Mei Building inherits many of the features of the Chi Mei Museum. Its external styling features use of Western aesthetic elements, and its overall appearance is deeply redolent of a Western classical style. The front entrance of the building is surmounted by a high dome, and has different Greek columns on each side to highlight the museum's roles of collecting, display, and education. The front of the building has a width of 150 m, a height of 42 m, and an overall floor area of nearly 40,000 m2.
Tainan City Government is currently accepting private applications for projects that can be conducted in the Chi Mei Building once it opens. Based on a wish to expand its cultural and public interest undertakings and contribute to society, the Chi Mei Group has already submitted an application, which will go through a selection process. Chi Mei's application emphasizes the company's philosophy of sharing and mutual benefit, and it proposes adoption of the Chi Mei Museum's current policy of free admittance for all.
In a speech honoring the occasion, Shi Wen-Long noted with great feeling: "This year happens to be the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Chi Mei Museum. Chi Mei has the ability to bring many of mankind's valuable cultural assets to Taiwan and share them with the public, and this also gives the world a better look at Taiwan. This makes me happier than anything I have done in my lifetime."
The sculpture "Angel of Glory" is located at the highest point of the museum building. According to Shi Wen-Long: "This "Angel of Glory" holding a laurel wreath and a horn in its hands will eternally stand atop the Chi Mei Building, protecting the land, bringing blessings to all, and reminding us to always pursue wisdom and draw near to both natural and human beauty."
Mayor Lai Ching-teh lavished praise on the Chi Mei Group for its selfless actions and commitment to sharing. Lai further noted: "This gift I have accepted from Chi Mei on behalf of the city is also a long-term mission. In the future, I will do my utmost to provide sufficient assistance for the museum's operations, and strive to attain the goals of an international-class museum and cultural city."
According to Chi Mei Group Chairman Frank Liao : "Plans for the Chi Mei Building in the "Tainan Metropolitan Park" were first made in 2005 by the Tainan County Chief Su Huan-chih and Chi Mei. Although Chi Mei suffered in the 2008 global financial crisis, Chi Mei Founder Shi still remained convinced of the importance of contributing to the public interest, and ensuring that sufficient funds were budgeted for the construction process. Today we are very pleased to see that the Chi Mei Building has been completed, and can fulfill its mission of realizing Chi Mei's promotion of art and culture and pursuit of well-being for all. "
Nearly everyone at this event wondered when the museum will open. According to the city government's plans, the museum will formally open before the end of June 2014. However, if Chi Mei is able to quickly obtain an operating permit, it will attempt to speed up work, and the museum may be able to open by the end of 2013.