While Taipei is home to 421 cultural and historic sites, 68% of those sites have yet to complete a maintenance management plan, according to the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Some of the sites are under the jurisdiction of the city. The department admitted that it is underfunded and shorthanded to undertake such projects, UDN reported. There are financial and human factors to consider, especially in the case of private property.
City Councilor Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) criticized the department’s lack of action, saying that the city cannot expect private owners of historic homes to make necessary improvements if the government doesn’t do it first. She noted that up to 80% of Taipei’s historic buildings and 47% of its historic sites are not properly managed. She added that during the summer, owners of historic buildings complain about termites nesting.
The Department of Cultural Affairs has identified 170 historic sites and 251 historic buildings that require maintenance. Only 61% of historic monuments and 17% of buildings meet the requirements for proper maintenance.
Cultural Affairs Deputy Director Tien Wei (田瑋) said that about 30 buildings are undergoing repairs with plans for another 18 yet to begin. Those with repair plans include Qidong Street, Zhongshan Bridge, and Songshan Sanatorium. Tien admitted that some cultural assets in the city are not well maintained, including the interior of the Songshan Tobacco Factory.
Last year the Beitou Municipal Government was fined NT$300,000 (US$9800) for not initiating repairs at Beitou Fudomyoo Grotto (北投不動明王石窟). Beitou did not accept the fine, claiming that it did not physically belong to the municipal government.