Hong Kong’s Heritage: Help or Hindrance?

Upcoming Events


Evening Seminar

Hong Kong’s Heritage: Help or Hindrance?

Please email yammie@britcham.com for more information

This event has reached maximum capacity. Please contact yammie@britcham.com to be placed on the waitlist.


Hong Kong has a strong and interesting history and that history has been rooted in free market commercial dynamism. When we consider a rising interest in Hong Kong’s heritage with the official opening of Tai Kwun in the heart of the city,  what should our reaction be? Is it a threat to the free market, a restriction that we could well do without, or could it be seen as another powerful string to Hong Kong’s bow?

Hong Kong, like most other dynamic places round the world, like London or New York, has to find ways of balancing its past and its present. Most people would agree that you need to take some of the past into the future – but how much? Tai Kwun was a relatively easy choice, brought to a very successful conclusion by the government and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. But what happens with privately owned heritage? What role should that be playing in Hong Kong’s future? And for that future, the question will be what is heritage? Does Norman Foster’s HSBC tower, one of the most important buildings of the late 20th century in the world, become heritage?


About the speaker

Professor Thurley is an English academic and leading architectural historian. He served as Chief Executive of English Heritage, the Government's principal advisor on the historic environment in England, from 2002 to 2015. During this period, Professor Thurley was responsible for major restoration projects - the most recent of which was the restoration of the Stonehenge landscape and the construction of a new museum there.

Prior to joining English Heritage, Professor Thurley served as the Director of the Museum of London, the world's largest city museum for five years. At the Museum of London, Professor Thurley led an exciting exhibition programme, inspiring people with a passion for the city. His most recent television project, Heritage!, is the story of the heritage movement in Britain made for BBC4.

Professor Thurley was the curator of Historic Royal Palaces, the organisation that is responsible for Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and Kew Palace. He was visiting professor at Gresham College and he provided more than 14 public lectures at the college.

Since 1989 Professor Thurley have regularly appeared on television commenting on history, heritage and the history of London. Since 1995 he has been presenting his own television programmes on history, archaeology and architecture.

Professor Thurley has published 11 single authored books and dozens of academic articles and many other pieces. His publications include Men from the Ministry: How Britain Saved its Heritage; Hampton Court: A Social and Architectural History; The Building of England: How the History of England Has Shaped Our Buildings; and Houses of Power: The Places that Shaped the Tudor World, to name a few.

Professor Thurley was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to conservation.


Ticket includes free-flow drinks and canapes.

Member $ 320.00 HKD
Non-Member $ 450.00 HKD
  • Reservations in advance are required. Please consider your booking confirmed unless notified otherwise.
  • Cancellations must be made in writing 24 hours prior to the event. No shows will be charged.
  • This event is closed to the media.
  • The event will be cancelled if the No.8 Typhoon signal or the Black Rain Storm warning is in force.
  • For further information please email yammie@britcham.com
  • Please make cheques payable to: "The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong" & send it to Room 1201 Emperor Group Centre, 288 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Heritage: Help or Hindrance?

Wed, July 04, 2018
06:30 PM - 08:30 PM

Professor Simon Thurley, Former Chief Executive, English Heritage

Bonhams, Suite 2001, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Contact Person:
Yammie Yuen
Contact information:
32 people are attending this event. Click to view list  


  • Parliament Voted! What’s Next for Brexit?
    23 Jan 2019
  • Virgin Atlantic appoints Estelle Randle as Head of Asia Pacific
    22 Jan 2019
  • The Truth About Fads and Quick Fixes
    17 Jan 2019