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$4 Mn Makeover For Thailand's Temple of Dawn: Authorities

by Rukmani Krishna on September 21, 2013 at 11:32 PM
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 $4 Mn Makeover For Thailand's Temple of Dawn: Authorities

Authorities said that Thailand's iconic "Temple of Dawn" on the banks of Bangkok's Chao Phraya river is to undergo a three-year renovation costing around $4 million.

Wat Arun, one of the kingdom's most famous landmarks, known for the morning light reflecting off its porcelain-encrusted surfaces, will remain open to visitors during the overhaul, according to officials.

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"We will not close it all. The repairs will start in some parts only," a senior monk at the temple, Phra Sri Suthi Wethee, told AFP.

"Tourists can still come. We haven't closed the big stupa yet."

Work on the central tower -- built in the first half of the 19th century -- will start in 2015, according to Tharapong Srisuchat, a senior official at the Ministry of Culture.
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"We cannot put all the scaffolding up at the same time or tourists will be disappointed," he said.

Tharapong estimated that it will take about a year to renovate the Khmer-style central stupa.

The budget for the project, which will start this month, is 130 million baht ($4.2 million), he added.

"The maintenance cycle is usually 25-30 years but it's shortening because of increased pollution and more severe changes in the weather," Tharapong said.

He said the work at the temple -- which was last renovated in 1996 -- would include repairing cracks, removing mould and replacing damaged tiles.

Source: AFP
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