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Henry Tang Vows to Make a Decision by June on West Kowloon Cultural District’s Financial Woes

Henry Tang, chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority. Photo: Nora Tam; Credit: South China Morning Post

The West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) is a mega art hub in Hong Kong, home to the M+ Art Museum and the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Development has been underway since the late 1990s, and in 2008, with HK$21.6 billion ($2.7 billion) in public funding, it was touted as one of the most ambitious public art projects in the world. However, due to construction delays and the pandemic, it has been in the red for years. The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority predicts it will run out of money by mid-2025.

In early March, Henry Tang, chairman of the authority, spoke to Chinese media outlet Sing Tao about WKCD’s situation. According to Tang, the authority submitted a proposal to the government last year to utilize land resources to improve its financial situation but has not received a response until now. Tang said the organization can’t wait any longer and will make its own decision by June of this year. He said that while WKCD is desperately trying to save money, it won’t help, and it is not possible to sign a contract for arts and cultural exhibitions when there is no money at the moment.

What the decision will be remains to be seen. Tang said the board does not want to file for bankruptcy, nor will it ask for billions of dollars in funding from the cash-strapped government. He said the only resource it has now is land, and it is looking to use that to help itself.

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