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Air Force special exhibit to take off in Taipei tomorrow

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An exhibition on the R.O.C. Air Force will kick off tomorrow at a former air force command center in Taipei, featuring a photo gallery depicting important historic moments in Taiwan Air Force history and an outdoor display of a decommissioned F-104 fighter.

The exhibition entitled "The Age of Flight: A Special Exhibition on the Air Force of the Republic of China," is the first in a series of exhibitions to be held at a primary site at downtown Taipei's Renai Road (仁愛路), where the Air Force headquarters used to be, Taipei Deputy Mayor Chang Chin-oh (張金鶚) announced at a press conference.

The Air Force Command Headquarters was relocated to Taipei's Dazhi (大直) area in October 2012 to make room so that the site can be developed into a 7.15-hectare multipurpose business complex.

According to the government's plan, the project, which will include hotels, a shopping mall, a plaza and green spaces, is expected to generate NT$90 billion to NT$100 billion worth of business and 10,000 jobs.

During yesterday's press conference, Chang said the Taipei City Government officially took over the site from the Ministry of National Defense last Thursday. It will take another two years before the site is completely revamped and turned into the business complex, he said.

Instead of having the site remain idle, the city government decided to convert it into a venue to hold different kinds of cultural events, Chang said.

"Since the site used to be the headquarters of the Air Force, we believe it is only appropriate to hold an exhibition on R.O.C Air Force history first to mark the transformation," the deputy mayor said.

It will be a great opportunity to mark the beginning of reviving idle land into multipurpose communities, he added.

The city government plans to hold a total of six exhibitions this year alone.

The Air Force exhibition features hundreds of historical images from the Museum of R.O.C. Air Force History.

Medals that honor pilots as well as more than 20 fighter jet models are also displayed on the exhibition site.

A decommissioned F-104 fighter jet, a model that served as the backbone of the R.O.C. Air Force for decades, is also being displayed at the site.

The free-entry event will officially begin tomorrow and will run until May 29.

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