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    May 20, 2016

    $100k earmarked for 20 monuments' upkeep this year

    A TOTAL of $100,000 will be disbursed for the maintenance of 20 national monuments this year from $2 million in government funds.

    The sum comes under a new maintenance component of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments (PSM) division's National Monuments Fund.

    PSM, a division under the National Heritage Board (NHB) that administers the co-funding scheme, announced the first batch of 20 recipients yesterday.

    Among them is the 1836 Armenian Church in Hill Street.

    Plants creeping along its facade that could lead to moisture damage have been removed as part of ongoing maintenance works.

    The rusting hinges of its timber windows have also been fixed.

    It is part of the church's efforts to upkeep the place in time for its 180th anniversary.

    NHB did not specify the funding breakdown per monument.

    The maintenance component of the fund covers works such as termite inspections; investigation of building defects, as well as cracks on walls and other structures, to determine the structural integrity of the monument; removal of vegetation on monuments by a specialist; and spot repair of artefacts or features.

    Other recipients include the 1908 Hong San See temple in Mohamed Sultan and the 1905 Chesed-El Synagogue in Oxley Rise.

    The maintenance category of the fund was introduced last year.

    The Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth had budgeted $11.77 million for the National Monuments Fund, which also comprises a restoration component amounting to $9.77 million.

    Jean Wee, director of the PSM division, said regular maintenance work can help save a monument from deteriorating badly.

    She added that such work can help ensure that the physical fabric of Singapore's historic landscape is retained.

    She said: "We hope to encourage them (monument owners) to be more responsible on a regular basis so as to retard the need for a big restoration project."