Temple short of $1.5m for revamp work

Temple short of $1.5m for revamp work
President of Taoist Mission (Singapore) Master Lee Zhiwang, poses for a photograph inside the Yu Huang Gong (or the Temple of Heavenly Jade Emperor), a 170-year-old monument located at 150 Telok Ayer Street on 27 Nov, 2013. The temple is in the midst of a restoration effort but still needs funds to fly in craftsmen for intricate restoration works among other things. It has also launched a heritage gallery to share with members of the public more about its history and role over the past two centuries.

SINGAPORE- The Taoist Mission is appealing for $1.5 million to ensure that the extensive restoration work to save the historic 170-year-old Singapore Yu Huang Gong temple can be completed.

The mission has already spent $2 million restoring the building in Telok Ayer, which was gazetted as a national monument in 2009.

Conditions in the temple were so bad when the work began in July last year that the site was declared unsafe for occupancy.

Returning it to its former glory has proved a financial challenge to the mission, which took over the building for an undisclosed sum in 2010 after the Keng Teck Whay clan association was not able to afford the restoration.

The entire top-to-toe makeover is estimated to cost $3.5 million, excluding a $480,000 grant under the National Monuments Fund.

The mission raised most of the initial $2 million from Taoists and members of the public from 2010; most of it has been spent on work such as infrastructure repair.

The southern Chinese-style building, which used to be called the Keng Teck Whay Building, houses an ancestral hall, a pagoda and altars for some Taoist deities.

Restoration work includes repairing and replicating decorative ornaments and fixtures by hand.

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