A local non-governmental group working to protect the Guia Lighthouse was “distressed” with the Cultural Affairs Bureau’s (IC) response to their appeal to UNESCO for help, the group has noted in a statement.
On June 10, The Concern Group for the Protection of the Guia Lighthouse issued an urgent appeal to UNESCO to request assistance from the global body in safeguarding views to and from the lighthouse.
In its statement, the group states, “The Historic Centre of Macau is once again on the verge of vandalism.”
On June 13, the IC issued a reply on the matter, stating, “The IC pays much attention to the protection of the views of the Guia Lighthouse.”
The government plans to build a 90-metre tall high-rise building on a land plot nearby Guia Light House. However, the IC pointed out that the height of the project is in accordance with the limits prescribed by the Chief Executive’s Order No. 83/2008.
Not convinced by the reply, the concern group pointed out that the World Heritage Committee had issued a note to the Macao government back in 2017 to “urge the [government] to institutionalise ‘Heritage Impact Assessment’ and to provide to the World Heritage Center the opportunity to review any irrevocable decision.”
Furthermore, the concern group described the IC’s reply as contradictory to its previous assessment of an abandoned construction next to Hotel Royal. The construction, initially approved for a height of 52.5 metres, was called off by the IC because of the impact it would have had on the view of the Lighthouse.
The concern group stressed that the IC’s “attention on the view of the lighthouse” should not be treated as a mere slogan. “The bureau should not be an ostrich when faced with threats to the Guia Lighthouse,” the concern group urged.
In the same statement, the group also expresses its gratitude to the mass media for their coverage on the matter, which, in its opinion, is “a sign of bravery to speak up for Macao residents.”