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3 national monuments to get a total of S$1.1m in grants for restoration works

SINGAPORE — Three ageing national monuments have been awarded grants to offset the cost of restoration works. 
The three are: Sultan Mosque, Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre and Sri Mariamman Temple.

SINGAPORE — Three ageing national monuments have been awarded grants to offset the cost of restoration works. 
The three are: Sultan Mosque, Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre and Sri Mariamman Temple.

The mosque will receive S$1.02 million from the National Monuments Fund (NMF) this month, the heritage centre will get S$47,700 and the temple will receive S$55,780.

For Sultan Mosque, gazetted in 1975, the fund is the second largest approved tranche of funding since the NMF’s inception.

The proposed works will also be the first time the near-century-old mosque in Kampong Glam will be restored since it was rebuilt in 1924 to 1928.

The grant will be used to fix three main problem areas, including stripping off the existing coat of paint and applying mineral paint as well as replacing the deteriorated woodwork in the windows and doors with better quality treated timber. Sultan Mosque will also see the installation of a lift for elderly worshippers.

The second monument, Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre, suffers from humidity damage due to its proximity to the seafront when it was originally built.

Although no longer located right next to the coastline today due to recent development, dampness is still causing the monument’s wall paint to disintegrate, a problem that needs to be rectified. The centre was built by the Chulia community between 1828 and 1830.

Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, will use the money for structural strengthening works on a single-storey shrine next to its main prayer hall. Urgent foundation strengthening works are also required, as a visible crack has developed on a column of the temple. This is the temple’s second successful NMF application, having previously received over S$103,000 in 2009, which was used mainly to repair damage to the vaulted ceiling of its main prayer hall.

Ms Jean Wee, Director of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments division, NHB, said: “National Monuments are treasured symbols of our heritage that need to be protected carefully and sensitively through meticulous restoration as they age over time.

“It is therefore important for us to work hand-in-hand with monument owners and do the best we can to safeguard our built heritage. Monetary support coupled with PSM’s technical guidance will help ensure that the National Monuments continue to stand the test of time as landmarks of Singapore’s historical legacy.”
To encourage responsible ownership of monuments, NMFs grants are disbursed through a co-funding scheme in which eligible monument owners must first possess the ability to finance the restoration works before they qualify for NMF contribution. A total of 29 monuments in Singapore are currently eligible for NMF grants.

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