Hong Kong Post has said it is to remove the British royal ciphers on the city’s mailboxes to “avoid confusion”, while conservationists say the act is an attempt to airbrush history.
Only 59 of the 1,148 iron mailboxes that dot Hong Kong still bear the royal insignia that was part of the design before the 1997 handover.
Two of the oldest postboxes are in museums, but the rest are slowly seeing their crests covered up by metal plates.
Hong Kong Post’s only comment on the matter is that they will cover all the royal insignias to “avoid confusion”, leaving local conservationists up in arms.
“These are very valuable mailboxes,” Peter Li of the Conservation Alliance told the Guardian. “They are antiques, street monuments that do not belong to a museum, but are part of Hong Kong’s heritage and daily life.”
The group is campaigning the only way the modern world knows how – by starting a Facebook page entitled “Old Letterbox Fans”.
We’re pretty sure they mean fans of old letterboxes as opposed to old people who like letterboxes in general, but it probably amounts to more or less the same thing.
The public is encouraged to post photos of their favourite mailboxes that bear the royal cipher. It’s basically postbox porn, so view at your own peril.
Some commentators believe the move by Hong Kong Post could be political, after retired Beijing official Chen Zuo’er recently berated Hong Kong for its “failure at decolonisation”.