King’s College, a secondary school located in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels area, is facing questions over a perceived attempt to cover up British royal insignia at the institution.
School authorities recently put up a flat-panel television on a ceramic tile wall that bore the symbol of the British crown.
It resulted in the image getting blocked from public view, and fueled suspicions among students if some political factors were behind the move.
The speculation was not surprising given the recent controversy surrounding Hongkong Post’s plans to cover up royal insignia on some old post boxes in the city.
King’s College counts Hong Kong’s current chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, among its alumni.
Questioned by a Ming Pao Daily News reporter, the school’s principal categorically denied that there was any “de-colonization” motive behind the decision to install the TV at that particular location.
The principal said the TV was installed to provide information to students and to enrich their learning experience, and that there was no conscious decision to cover up the colonial-era symbol.
“Why is it unusual to hang a TV in a public place within the school campus?” she said.
As King’s College is a declared monument, no drilling could be performed on red brick walls, Chan said.
Hence, the school selected the ceramic-tile wall, she said, adding that even that work was carried out only after securing approval from the Antiquities and Monuments Office.
Chan dismissed charges that the TV location was chosen deliberately to conceal the British crown. The symbol can still be seen partially, she said.
Sam Yip Kam-lung, a King’s College alumnus who stood for the Shek Tong Tsui constituency seat in last month’s district council election, said the school’s emblem used to have a crown symbol, but it was removed when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
A group of old boys therefore decided to recreate the crown symbol and the letters “KC” symbolizing King’s College using ceramic tiles on a wall inside the school.
Yip said the installation of a TV has ruined the completeness of the school campus.
His views were echoed by fellow alumnus and legislator Cheung Kwok-che, who said the crown logo on the ceramic tiles wall is an important component of the old school emblem, representing the historical values of the school and that it shouldn’t have been covered up.
Cheung pointed out that there are many ways to install a TV apart from drilling holes on a wall. The TV could be hung down from the ceiling or using other methods.
The lawmaker has urged the school authorities to move the TV to a new location.
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