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Ceremony marks partial restoration of Hor Pha Keo museum

The Hor Pha Keo Museum renovation project committee on Sunday hosted a Buddhist ceremony at the museum to mark the progress made to date.

President Choummaly Sayasone lights candles to start the ceremony at the Hor Pha Keo Museum on Sunday.

The event was attended by President Choummaly Sayasone and other high-ranking officials.

The ceremony highlighted the accomplishments of the first phase of the project while preparing to carry out the second and third phases, which require additional funding.

An almsgiving ceremony took place at the museum yesterday morning presided over by 40 monks, allowing Buddhists to make merit.

According to a report on the project, the first phase of restoration began in early 2015 and has cost over 5 billion kip.

“The work done so far includes improvements to the roof, ceiling, and the walls inside and surrounding the museum. Now we are focusing on the painting and texturing of the walls,” Vice Mayor of Vientiane Mr Saithong Keoduangdy said.

Less than 20 percent of the work remains to be done in the second and third phases of the project.

This will focus on the floor and other painting work around the museum, and workers will also restore the garden, drains, lighting, and security features.

Mr Saithong said the project should be completed in June when they will hold a consecration ceremony for the museum and the Buddha images it houses.

Funding for the renovation has come from the government, donations from local people, foreigners and international organisations, as well as museum entry fees.

However, more donations are needed for the second and third phases.

This is the third restoration of Hor Pha Keo; the first took place in 1816 during the reign of Chao Anouvong, and the second from 1936-1942, with 2015 being the latest attempt to renovate the much-visited building.

Ho Pha Keo is one of Vientiane's oldest temples and was used as the royal chapel of the Lao monarchy, but more importantly it was built to house the Emerald Buddha.

After national liberation in 1975, the government placed Hor Pha Keo under the management of the Ministry of Education.

From 1983-1987, the museum was under the supervision of the then Ministry of Information and Culture. It became a full museum in 1987.



By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 23, 2016)

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