Singapore Budget 2014: $65 million to go to upgrading museums and cultural facilities

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth will pour more than $65 million into museums and cultural institutions, to upgrade facilities such as the Esplanade and National Museum (above). -- ST FILE PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth will pour more than $65 million into museums and cultural institutions, to upgrade facilities such as the Esplanade and National Museum (above). -- ST FILE PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth will pour more than $65 million into museums and cultural institutions, to upgrade facilities such as the Esplanade and National Museum.

The Asian Civilisations Museum will undergo a $25 million revamp that will include a re-designed lobby, new shops and dining options.

Permanent galleries will be expanded, adding a total of about 1,500 sq m to the building. This will give the museum more space to house artefacts such as the Tang Shipwreck treasures.

Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said in Parliament on Tuesday that his ministry is also exploring a new entrance for the museum that opens onto the Singapore River.

He added: "We may combine this with a new gallery space that will breathe more light into the museum. This needs a bit more study, but it's a potential game-changer."

Meanwhile, a new wing dedicated to children and young families will be introduced at the National Museum. Called Play@NMS, it will open in May and is part of a $10 million effort to rejuvenate the facility.

The museum will also capture more "everyday heritage" - gathering stories and artefacts from Singaporeans from all walks of life to incorporate into the museum experience.

The revamp of both museums will also tie in with Singapore's 50th anniversary next year.

The Esplanade, meanwhile, will have a new theatre mainly for children.

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