AN OLD BUILDING PROVES CHALLENGING Getting this exhibition up and running was no easy task. According to Chan, “It took three years to complete this project. We started in 2013.” It was decided not to be held in a modern museum – of which there are many in Macao – but the seminary itself came with its challenges. While the seminary provides the most appropriate setting, the building itself is about 300 years old. “So we had many issues to deal with: the condition of the building, leaking water, air conditioning, etc,” recalls Chan. “Many of the valuable books cannot be displayed because they are not in good condition and must be treated with great care. There are some rooms in the seminary completely filled with old books.” Most of the artifacts are displayed in heavy glass cases that weigh down the floors of the old building. “On the second floor, we couldn’t show too many pieces and chose showcases not made with glass but with acrylic that is light and durable. This is a long‑term exhibition.” The exhibit is open to the public from 10:00am to 5:00pm every day except Wednesday. Admission is free, but a limit on the number of people viewing the second floor at any one time is strictly enforced for safety reasons. Following a restoration overseen by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the SAR government, St. Joseph’s Church received a UNESCO Asia‑Pacific Award for Culture Heritage Conservation in 2001. And in 2005, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the Historic Centre of Macao. 4
Published on Nov 27, 2016
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