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Laos to renovate Emerald Buddha hall
Publication Date : 08-10-2013
A special ceremony will take place at the Hor Pha Keo museum in Vientiane on October 11 and 12 to initiate the renovation of one of the most historically significant sites in Laos.
The ceremony, which will include the acceptance of donations towards the project, will begin on October 11 while almsgiving and other Buddhist rituals will start at 7am and continue throughout the following day.
Everyone is welcome to attend these events, which herald further restoration of this small, but much-loved repository of Lao antiquities. The structure was originally built in 1565 and has been treasured by the people of Laos over the centuries.
The committee in charge of fund-raising said a vast amount of money would be needed for the renovation.
While some of the funds will come from visitor admission fees, the committee is hopeful that the public will contribute generously to this preservation effort.
The museum contains several important Buddha images and other artefacts.
The building formerly housed the Emerald Buddha, but it was destroyed by Siamese forces in 1828 and rebuilt in 1942.
The museum is now in poor condition, especially the roof, and several support structures have collapsed.
Director of Historic Vientiane, Khochone Keomanivong, said many parts of the museum would be renovated with the use of high quality equipment, and the work would be overseen by technical experts.
He said using the right materials and adhering to the original design would be a challenge, especially after their experience in renovating Vat Sisaket, when some of the materials used did not match the existing structure.
However, this time around he thought previous experience would ensure they got things right and the building would be appropriately restored.
“We will stick to the original as far as possible in terms of colour and design, and pay special attention to the materials we use,” Khochone said.
The restoration will not only strengthen the building but will also ensure safety for the growing number of tourists who visit this landmark destination.
The committee anticipates the work will be complete by 2015, which is the 450th anniversary of the original structure.