From a military front to a Cold War heritage site: A study of the prospect of Matsu Archipelago as sustainable tourism islands

Fu, Chao-Ching (2012) From a military front to a Cold War heritage site: A study of the prospect of Matsu Archipelago as sustainable tourism islands. In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

The Matsu archipelago, located in the northwest of Taiwan Strait and composed of 36 islands, is geographically closed to the Chinese Mainland and had been functioned as the military front by the Nationalist Government in Taiwan against Chinese Communism since 1949. The role of the islands as a stronghold along the Pacific Ocean against Communism during the Cold War was reassured by the U.S. Government. For decades, the islands were not easily accessible for the ordinary people from Taiwan for the purpose of tourism. The function of the military front was lifted on the midnight of 13th May, 1994 and a new role is envisioned for both domestic and foreign tourists. In fact, Matsu had never received the attack of the war although it was treated as the military front. All military facilities were set up for the purpose of defense and had become a part of people’s life. When more and more military forces are withdrawn from the islands, the decreasing population and drop in business with the military led the island search for a new drive for the local economy. Since then, tourism has been treated as the most prospective direction for the development. World highest density military facilities such as the underground tunnels have formed a special cultural landscape and contained unique attractions for cultural tourism. Furthermore, the vernacular architecture in Matsu is idiosyncratic in spatial layout, built form and construction system. In 1999, Matsu was designated as a national scenic area. In 2009, the military cultural landscape of Matsu was chosen by the government in Taiwan as a potential World Heritage site. This paper will be a research into how the islands of Matsu archipelago can be developed from a military front to a Cold War heritage site and argue that the cultural landscape of Matsu should be preserved as a peace memorial heritage and sustainable sources for cultural tourism.

De base militaire à site patrimonial de la Guerre Froide – étude des perspectives de l’archipel de Matsu en tant qu’îles touristiques durables L’archipel de Matsu, situé au Nord ouest du Détroit de Taiwan et composé de 36 îles géographiquement proches de la Chine continentale, servait depuis 1949 de base militaire au gouvernement nationaliste de Taiwan face à la Chine communiste. Le rôle de ces îles au large du Pacifique comme bastion contre le communisme pendant la Guerre Froide avait été conforté par les différents gouvernements américains. Durant des décennies, l’accès aux îles pour raisons touristiques s’est avéré très difficile pour la population taïwanaise. La fonction militaire de l’île a été levée le 13 mai 1994 à minuit. Un nouveau rôle à destination des touristes locaux et étrangers est alors à envisager. En réalité, Matsu n’a jamais fait l’objet d’attaques durant la guerre, même si l’île était gérée comme une véritable base militaire. Toutes les installations militaires avaient pour objectif la défense de l’île et faisaient partie du décor pour le quotidien de la population. Avec le retrait des forces militaires en place, le dépeuplement, et la baisse d’activité économique qui s’en est suivi, l’île a commencé à chercher de nouvelles pistes pour tirer l’économie locale vers le haut. Depuis lors, le tourisme a été considéré comme le secteur le plus prometteur en termes de développement. Cet ensemble d’installations militaires, le plus dense au monde, avec ses tunnels souterrains, a façonné un paysage culturel particulier, doté d’attractions uniques pour le tourisme culturel. En plus de cela, l’architecture vernaculaire de Matsu est singulière dans son organisation spatiale, ses formes et ses systèmes constructifs. En 1999, Matsu a été désigné zone touristique nationale [National scenic area]. En 2009, le paysage culturel militaire de Matsu a été choisi par le gouvernement de Taiwan comme potentiel site du Patrimoine mondial. Cette communication étudiera comment les îles de l’archipel de Matsu peuvent passer du statut de base militaire à celui de site patrimonial de la Guerre Froide, et propose que le paysage culturel de Matsu soit préservé comme mémorial de la paix à dimension patrimoniale, ressource durable du tourisme culturel.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
Fu, Chao-Chingccfu@mail.ncku.edu.tw
Languages: English
Keywords: Cold War heritage; Taiwan; Matsu archipelago; military island; military tourism; defence heritage; peace memorial; cultural tourism; tunnels; islands; re-use; sustainability; cultural landscapes; memory; reconversion; military architecture; military equipment; lighthouses; Conservation policy; taiwan
Subjects: H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 04. Architectural ensembles
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 06. Cultural landscapes
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 16. Industrial and technical heritage
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 27. Vernacular architecture
I.CULTURAL TOURISM > 02. Tourism management
I.CULTURAL TOURISM > 06. Types of tourism (urban, rural, religious...)
L.PRESENTATION AND TRANSMISSION OF HERITAGE > 04. Public awareness
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Matsu archipelago, Taiwan
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: ICOMOS FRANCE
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2012 10:52
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2012 10:52
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URI: http://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1258

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