Requests to extend bicentennial exhibition under review

A spinning rotunda depicting Sir Stamford Raffles' arrival in Singapore is part of The Bicentennial Experience exhibition at Fort Canning Centre. Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah has told Parliament that the Singapore Bicentenni
A spinning rotunda depicting Sir Stamford Raffles' arrival in Singapore is part of The Bicentennial Experience exhibition at Fort Canning Centre. Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah has told Parliament that the Singapore Bicentennial Office has received requests to extend the exhibition beyond its Sept 15 closing date and is reviewing them.ST FILE PHOTO

The Singapore Bicentennial Office (SBO) will study different options to retain key elements of the nation's bicentennial year, including an ongoing exhibition at Fort Canning Centre.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah yesterday said these elements include the exhibition, community showcases and publications.

The SBO will share its plans in due course, she said in her reply to Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC).

Mr de Souza had asked if The Bicentennial Experience exhibition could be extended to the end of next year or even made permanent.

The exhibition, which currently ends on Sept 15, is an interactive exhibition that showcases 700 years of Singapore history.

Ms Indranee said the SBO has received many such requests since the exhibition opened in June and is reviewing them.

"Visitors felt that more Singaporeans, and especially the young, should enjoy it. Some have even called for the Experience to be made permanent so that visitors to Singapore and new citizens, as well as future generations of Singaporeans, can be educated on our history," she said.

Ms Indranee, who is also Second Minister for Finance and Education, noted that there are several issues to consider, including additional costs and technical implications of extending the exhibition.

 
 
 
 

"We also need to find the right format if we were to make the Experience permanent, as it was never designed as such," she added.

Mr de Souza asked if the exhibition could be updated at the nation's major milestones, for example, when Singapore celebrates its 60th birthday in 2025.

He also suggested adding an additional interactive survey to the exhibition for visitors to indicate what they think the country's priorities should be for the future.

Ms Indranee said the SBO would consider both of his suggestions.

The exhibition has seen more than 300,000 visitors so far, with the 400,000th visitor expected early next month.

Ms Indranee said more than 95 per cent of visitors surveyed have rated the exhibition positively or very positively.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2019, with the headline 'Requests to extend bicentennial exhibition under review'. Print Edition | Subscribe