Macau, China 15/02/2017 – Lilau Square mansion is on track to set record for the most expensive townhouse ever sold in Macao. The stately building that for over a century overshadowed the UNESCO-listed Lilau Square and Mandarin House hits the market today with an asking price of HK$250 million (USD $31 million).

On 26 February 2017, in a bid to attract potential buyers, the mansion will open its doors to public to celebrate Lilau Square’s long heritage with an array of free programs, including special events, live painting, concerts, tours of the building, sculpture and jewellery exhibitions, and educational, fun-filled activities on all floors, with a live concert on an outdoor Roof Terrace that overlooks Mandarin House museum.

The event will be organised by iAOHiN Gallery, which has been appointed by the building owner to help bring publicity to Largo do Lilau, where iAOHiN will also hold a grand opening of its own new venue, the “iAOHiN Amber Gallery” on the Square’s opposite corner. Simon Lam, iAOHiN Gallery’s curator, said: “This cooperation leverages our ability to promote Lilau Square, which is a wonderful plaza with rich history, yet little known and rarely visited by locals and tourists alike. While the new space will allow the Gallery to present artistic amber jewellery and accommodate an increasing number of exhibitions and visitors, we would never be able to organise an event on such a grand scale at our small venue alone.”

The owner of the townhouse, a local real estate mogul, announced her plans to sell the art galleries called “37” and “49” comprising the mansion, which she considers to have become too expensive to maintain. The property was appraised at HK$240 million one year ago.

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The mansion, which was beautifully restored in 2014 is being marketed as “an exceptionally large blank canvas” that could continue to be used as a cultural institution and education facility, or as a boutique apartment conversion or “truly historic, one-of-a-kind single family residence.” It still features much of its original architectural details, including wooden windows with exterior window shutters, plaster moldings and hardwood roof beams.

It is not clear who might be a likely buyer, but there are some voices that Macao Government would be a suitable candidate, as the Macao’s Cultural Affairs Bureau might consider preserving the historic mansion in the public domain – particularly that the Bureau has been acquiring and currently owns nearly all of the other historic buildings surrounding the area.

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The building, which currently houses several temporary exhibitions, will be open to public on 26 February afternoon from 16:00 and will host notable people, such as the president of the Association for Macanese Education, Dr. Miguel Senna Fernandes or the architect behind Lilau’s rejuvenation, prof. Francisco Vizeu Pinheiro, who will both deliver talks about Macao cultural heritage and the Lilau Square’s 400 year history. Also featured in the event’s program are:

  • Grand Opening of the iAOHiN Amber Gallery at Lilau Square;
  • Exhibition of bronze sculptures by renowned French sculptor Jacques Le Nantec, who has his studio and what he calls his “secret museum” in Rua de Lilau right behind the mansion;
  • Live painting of “Fire Rooster” (3m x 2m) by contemporary painter Tashi Norbu, who will fly to Macao from the Netherlands to attend the occasion;
  • Exhibition of avant-garde amber jewellery from international designers brought by Amberozia Hong Kong and under the patronage of the Poland Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao, who will also attend the event;
  • Cello, violin and harp concerts by Daniel Leong, Ng U Tong and Elisa Chon;
  • Exhibition of fashion design by Macao designer Ana Cardoso;
  • Several product launches of Eastern European alcohols and drink tasting sponsored by Scandia Scapia;
  • Complimentary canapés and drinks will also be served and a prize draw will top off the event.

Lilau Square

Lilau Square and its surroundings were one of the first residential quarters of the Portuguese in Macao, and later on became the magnet for the rich, powerful or simply famous. Among them British merchants from the East India Company, the retired official and literary figure Cheng Kuan-Ying who built his residential complex (the Mandarin’s House of today) in 1881, or the British sinologist and first translator of the bible into Chinese Dr Robert Morrison, who lived behind Saint Lawrence Church, and his contemporary George Chinnery, the British painter whose numerous and prodigious sketches and paintings of Macao have so much captured our imagination, who had his house and workshop for almost thirty years in the close-by Rua de Ignacio Baptista.

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Since July 2005, the whole square has been recognised as UNESCO world heritage and is a landmark along the “historic centre” of Macao that runs between the emblematic A-Ma Temple, from which the name of Macao is derived, to the iconic Saint Paul’s Ruins, whose imagery has come to represent Macao in the world’s mind.

iAOHiN Gallery

One of the first private art galleries in Macau, iAOHiN has welcomed thousands of visitors since its founding in 2011. Its outstanding exhibitions of paintings, sculpture, jewlellery and other art, which include photography, are complemented by a diverse array of workshops, on-stage conversations, concerts, and special events. The Gallery’s immersive environment stimulates learning, promotes understanding, and inspires personal connections to the ideas, cultures, and art. iAOHiN Gallery supports cultural heritage conservation as an investment in our community that rewards us today and leaves an invaluable resource for future generations, iAOHiN holds the belief that “heritage conservation” implies “heritage being used” rather than freezing the buildings in time.

Lilau Square 37-49 Open House

The cultural event “Reminiscent Evening at Lilau” detailed above will be held on Sunday, 26 February 2017, 16:00 – 20:00, at Largo do Lilau No 37.

RSVP: info@iaohin.com or (+853) 6617 0981

Detailed information and images are available at www.lilau.org

### For further information and images, please contact:

Simon Lam
Tel: (+853) 6310 0191

iAOHiN Gallery
Rua da Tercena 39A