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Istana visitors get gems of information about iconic building

Some 300 visitors to the Istana's Chinese New Year open house were taken on guided-tours of iconic Istana building for the first time on Monday.

Volunteer guides from the Preservation of Monuments Board led the 45-minute tours of the 144-year-old national monument that now houses the offices of the President and the Prime Minister.

Participants were taken to the Reception Room and State Room. At the Banquet Hall, visitors were also given a glimpse of the various gifts that had been given by visiting dignitaries.

Participants were also given insights into selected art pieces on display on the first floor of the Istana building.

"It was very interesting and we were surprised to see the harmony of all the things," said Mr Pierre Pittet, 64, from Switzerland who was visiting the Istana grounds for the first time with his wife.

"There's a good balance of the decoration and the living space," he added.

Subsequent tours will be held on all Istana open house days.

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