$15m boost for national monument restoration fund

From top: Cavenagh Bridge, Anderson Bridge and Elgin Bridge were collectively gazetted as Singapore's 73rd national monument yesterday. Until Oct 28, members of the public will be able to check out a series of installations at the bridges as part of
Cavenagh Bridge (above), Anderson Bridge and Elgin Bridge were collectively gazetted as Singapore's 73rd national monument yesterday. Until Oct 28, members of the public will be able to check out a series of installations at the bridges as part of the National Heritage Board's new Milestones Through Monuments programme.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
From top: Cavenagh Bridge, Anderson Bridge and Elgin Bridge were collectively gazetted as Singapore's 73rd national monument yesterday. Until Oct 28, members of the public will be able to check out a series of installations at the bridges as part of
Cavenagh Bridge, Anderson Bridge (above) and Elgin Bridge were collectively gazetted as Singapore's 73rd national monument yesterday. Until Oct 28, members of the public will be able to check out a series of installations at the bridges as part of the National Heritage Board's new Milestones Through Monuments programme.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
From top: Cavenagh Bridge, Anderson Bridge and Elgin Bridge were collectively gazetted as Singapore's 73rd national monument yesterday. Until Oct 28, members of the public will be able to check out a series of installations at the bridges as part of
Cavenagh Bridge, Anderson Bridge and Elgin Bridge (above) were collectively gazetted as Singapore's 73rd national monument yesterday. Until Oct 28, members of the public will be able to check out a series of installations at the bridges as part of the National Heritage Board's new Milestones Through Monuments programme.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Move comes as three Singapore River bridges are collectively gazetted as 73rd national monument

Owners of national monuments will be able to access $15 million in a new tranche of funds for their restoration projects in the next five years.

The money, which will go to the restoration fund of the National Monuments Fund, is the third and largest tranche released by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth since the fund was introduced in 2008.

Tranches of $11.8 million and $5 million were granted in 2015 and 2008, respectively.

The $15 million will be made available to non-profit or religious organisations which own and manage national monuments that can be accessed by the public. The money will help them to co-fund upcoming restoration projects.

Application for the fund is open until noon on Oct 31.

The announcement yesterday came as the National Heritage Board (NHB) collectively gazetted three Singapore River bridges - Cavenagh, Anderson and Elgin bridges - as the nation's 73rd national monument.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had announced on Aug 3 that the three bridges, as well as the Padang, would be gazetted as national monuments.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who officiated at the gazetting event, said: "The bridges have witnessed the progress of our nation over the past two centuries. The historic mouth of the Singapore River was the old harbour of Singapore. It is the place where many of our forefathers first set foot ashore and later made a living working in or around the port."

Also present was Mr Gavin MacLellan, the great-great-grandson of Mr Walter MacLellan, who co-founded Glasgow-based engineering firm P&W MacLellan, which built Cavenagh Bridge's historical cast iron structure.

Until Oct 28, members of the public will be able to see the three bridges from a new perspective, with a series of installations that are part of a new NHB programme.

Launched yesterday, Milestones Through Monuments highlights the roles national monuments played during significant periods in Singapore's history, and commemorates the bicentennial year of Sir Stamford Raffles' arrival.

Cavenagh Bridge is lined with life-size origami boats that bear excerpts of reconstructed letters that were posted from Singapore.

Anderson Bridge features a stationary tram in which visitors can learn about the various modes of transport that ran across the bridge.

 
 
 

At Elgin Bridge, miniature rustic-looking tongkang boats are juxtaposed against skyscrapers in the background.

The installations on Cavenagh and Anderson bridges were designed by creative director Danny C. Wijaya, while the Elgin Bridge exhibit was made by local mural artist Yip Yew Chong.

The public can also join walking tours to learn more about the bridges' lesser-known histories and stories about people and life along the river.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2019, with the headline '$15m boost for national monument restoration fund'. Print Edition | Subscribe