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Friends of Art Museum presents


From A Ruin To A Gem


A Conversation with Prof. Anna Pao Sohmen SBS and Dr. Alain Le Pichon on the restoration of the Béthanie and the writing of a book telling its story

Monday, 18 May 2015   |   7:30 pm - 9:30 pm   |   Wellcome Theatre, HKAPA Béthanie Campus                      



The Béthanie is a historical building complex located in Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong and built in 1875 as a sanatorium by the Paris Foreign Missions Society (French: Missions Étrangères de Paris). It is a Grade II historic building.


Béthanie and the nearby Dairy Farm cowsheds were allocated in 2003 to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. After a series of renovations, the complex reopened in 2006 and is now used by the Academy's School of Film and Television. In addition to educational facilities, it includes two performance venues, an exhibition hall, a chapel, and a museum.


About our speakers:


Dr Alain Le Pichon is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in France and Oxford. After an early teaching career at Eton College, he became a banker in London, on Wall Street and in Hong Kong. He later returned to academia and taught at the Sorbonne. He now resides in Hong Kong and Paris. His publications include works: on the British presence in China, China Trade and Empire published by Oxford University Press, and on the French missionary presence in Hong Kong, Béthanie and Nazareth, French Secrets from a British Colony published by the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.


Prof Anna Pao Sohmen SBS is former Chair of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and helped to restore the 19th Century Bethanie by turning the complex into a film school. She is involved with many philanthropic projects in China and Hong Kong. Prof Sohmen founded the Chinese International School in Hong Kong in 1982 and the Sir Y K Pao School in Shanghai in 2007. She is Honorary Presi-dent of Ningbo University and Harbin Normal University, advisory Professor to Shanghai Zhaotong University and Tongchi University, and has achieved the World Women’s Entrepreneurs Award and the Hong Kong Outstanding Women Entrepreneur Award. She received Hong Kong’s Silver Bauhinia Award for her public service. She is married to Dr Helmut Sohmen and they have three children and five grandchildren.


*refreshment will be offered.


Venue: Wellcome Theatre, HKAPA Bethanie Campus, 139 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong


Transportation to Béthanie:  A coach will be available from Central


Cost: HK$300 Members, HK$400 Non-Members


Enquiries: Patrick Moss at


Registration: Please register for this event with Friends of the Art Museum, the Chinese University of Hong Kong 


Educational Partners:

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