20 national monuments to gain from govt fund

A total of $100,000 will be disbursed this year for the maintenance of 20 national monuments, from $2 million in government funds.

The sum comes under a new maintenance component of the National Monuments Fund. The Preservation of Sites and Monuments (PSM), a division under the National Heritage Board that administers the co-funding scheme, announced the first batch of 20 recipients yesterday.

Among them are the Armenian Church in Hill Street. As part of ongoing maintenance works ahead of its 180th anniversary, plants on the facade that could cause moisture damage have been removed, and rusting window hinges fixed.

The maintenance component covers termite inspections; investigation of building defects and cracks on walls and other structures to determine structural integrity; removal of vegetation by a specialist; and spot repair of artefacts or features.

Other recipients include the 1908 Hong San See temple in Mohamed Sultan Road and the 1905 Chesed-El Synagogue in Oxley Rise.

The maintenance category of the fund was introduced last year.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth budgeted $11.77 million for the overall fund, which also has a restoration component amounting to $9.77 million.

Ms Jean Wee, the director of the PSM division, said regular maintenance can help keep a monument from deteriorating badly. "We hope to encourage (monument owners) to be more responsible on a regular basis so as to reduce the need for a big restoration project. "

Melody Zaccheus

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2016, with the headline '20 national monuments to gain from govt fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe