MTRC uncovers ancient relics:Conservation group urges a halt in construction

CONSERVATIONISTS are calling on the MTR Corporation to suspend construction of the Sha Tin-Central rail link after more ancient relics were found along the planned route in Kowloon City.

Speaking at City Forum on Sunday, Albert Lai Kwong-tak suggested building a complex combining museum, layers of relics, station concourse and platform.

The Professional Commons founding chairman also hoped the MTR would not restart construction before an archaeological investigation has been made. He said he did not want the government to take shortcuts.

“There are steps in archaeological procedures: investigation, value estimation and outlining conservation proposals,” Lai said.

Antiquities Advisory Board chairman Andrew Lam Siu-lo said further excavation has to be done before any conservation plans can be discussed. “If we don’t dig deeper, we will not know what relics are still there,” he said.

Lam said that what is more important is not just building a museum or putting relics in the park. It is how people understand or if they are willing to understand history.

One of the relics is a square-shaped well which has been dated to the Song Dynasty, which was between 960 and 1279. It was found near one of Hong Kong’s most important monuments, the Sung Wong Toi.