$1.1m aid for restoration of 3 national monuments

$1.1m aid for restoration of 3 national monuments
The Sultan Mosque, which is undergoing restoration work, received the biggest grant in the latest round of National Heritage Board funding.

MORE than $1.1 million has been disbursed by the National Heritage Board (NHB) to fund repairs and restoration work at three national monuments.

The almost century-old Sultan Mosque in Muscat Street, which is undergoing a year-long restoration, received $1.02 million - the largest sum given out this round under the NHB's National Monuments Fund.

This will help pay for painting to cover up widespread spalling on the mosque's concrete surface. It will also help replace deteriorated woodwork in windows and doors and refurbish the ablution areas.

The mosque itself has raised $700,000 so far, but even with the NHB funding it is still $2.5 million short of its $4.3 million budget.

Mr Mohamed Patail, chairman of the mosque's board of trustees and management board, encouraged the community to donate to the restoration.

"When the works are complete, the restoration will make the congregants and Singaporeans as a whole proud, as this iconic mosque will be a beacon in this historic enclave," he said.

The National Monuments Fund, which was set up in 2008 from a $5 million government scheme, caters to non-profit monuments that require urgent repairs. About $3.7 million has been disbursed so far in three rounds.

Of the 66 monuments here, 29 qualify for grants and a total of 13 have benefited.

The other recipients this year include the Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre in Telok Ayer, built between 1828 and 1830. It received $47,700 to deal with its disintegrating wall paint.

Singapore's oldest temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple in South Bridge Road, was awarded $55,780 to help strengthen the structure of one of its shrines. A crack line has appeared in one of the columns.

Ms Jean Wee, director of NHB's Preservation of Sites and Monuments division, said national monuments need to be protected carefully and sensitively through meticulous restoration.

She said: "It is therefore important for us to work hand-in-hand with monument owners and do the best we can to safeguard our built heritage."

melodyz@sph.com.sg


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