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The past is important to Singapore, S$2.61m to restore/maintain 15 monuments

The Independent logo The Independent 11/9/2019 Gemma Iso
a tall building © The Independent Singapore

Thian Hock Keng Temple, Church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Chesed-El Synagogue, Maghain Aboth Synagogue, and first time recipient St Andrew’s Cathedral are among the fifteen national heritage sites/monuments that will receive S$2.61 million restoration and maintenance funding works year. This was announced by the National Heritage Board (NHB) Tuesday (Sep 10).

The funding will be shelled out through the National Monuments Fund, which was set up in 2008 to help with the cost of preserving historic buildings and structures.

“Our national monuments are important symbols of our past, protected today by the diverse communities they continue to serve,” Ms Jean Wee said, director of NHB’s Preservation of Sites and Monuments division.

“Fourteen of the 15 grant recipients this year, are repeat applicants,” she added. “This augurs well as an indication that earlier restoration has spurred them to continue and widen their preservation efforts on site.”

Of the S$2.61 million, S$2.5 million will co-fund restoration works and S$115,000 will co-fund the maintenance of the national monuments.

This year’s monuments include first-time recipient St Andrew’s Cathedral, the oldest Anglican house of worship in Singapore, which will get S$977,000 for restoration works. It will also receive close to S$51,000 from the maintenance fund.

The cathedral will be repainted, its pews, stalls, doors and windows restored and the timber flooring in the bell tower will be refurbished. It will include termite control and the removal of vegetation on or near the cathedral and spot repair of artifacts or features.

The National Monuments Fund is disbursed through a co-funding scheme aimed at encouraging responsible ownership of national monuments.

There are currently 31 non-profit or religious national monuments which qualify for the grant.

The National Heritage Board

The National Heritage Board (NHB) is the curator and steward of Singapore’s heritage. The Board is responsible for narrating and re-telling the Singapore story, sharing the Singaporean experience and imparting the Singapore spirit.

A major task of the Board is to preserve and celebrate the shared heritage of our diverse communities, for the purpose of education, nation-building and cultural understanding. It manages the national museums and heritage institutions, and sets policies relating to heritage sites, National Monuments and the national collection. Through the national collection, NHB curates heritage programmes and presents exhibitions to connect the past, present and future generations of Singaporeans.

NHB was formed on 1 August 1993, and is a statutory board under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

NHB manages the museums and heritage institutions, and are the place manager for the BrasBasah.Bugis precinct, Singapore’s arts and cultural belt.


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