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MOFA launches competition to name black swan families

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An online competition to name the black swan families at the Taipei Guest House was launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday to celebrate the birth of 11 newborn baby black swans at the Baroque-style national historic landmark.

The 11 baby black swans, known as cygnets, were born earlier this year and are the children of four black swan couples that live on the property of the Taipei Guest House, according to MOFA, which is responsible for maintaining and managing the building.

To celebrate the birth of the newest residents, MOFA decided to launch the competition to give the nationals an opportunity to name the black swan family at the century-old historic compound.

The competition consists of two stages. Participants can submit the names of the black swan families until noon of April 21 at http://www.mofa.gov.tw/swanfamily.

A review committee will then pick five names from the submissions and allow the public to vote on the same website to choose the name for the black swan family, MOFA said. The online voting will be opened from April 29 to May 5, it said.

Those who participate in the competition will be joining a lottery draw to win prizes from the ministry, among them including a smartphone and tablet PCs, it said.

The 3.4-hectare Taipei Guest House is located on Ketagalan Boulevard, across the street from MOFA's headquarters in downtown Taipei.

Designed by Japanese architects and completed in 1901, the house previously served as the residence of the governor-general during the Japanese colonial period and was renamed the Taipei Guest House in 1950.

It is now used to receive state guests or hold national banquets and is regularly opened to the public.

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