Channel NewsAsia: Bukit Brown Cemetery placed on 2014 World Monuments Watch

Singapore’s Bukit Brown Cemetery has been placed on the 2014 World Monuments Watch, which compiles cultural heritage sites threatened around the world.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Bukit Brown Cemetery has been placed on the 2014 World Monuments Watch, which compiles cultural heritage sites threatened around the world.

The cemetery – which houses the graves of pioneering Chinese immigrants – is one of 67 sites from 41 countries and territories.

Part of the cemetery will make way for the construction of a new dual four-lane road that connects the MacRitchie Viaduct to the Adam Flyover.

Responding to queries, the National Heritage Board (NHB) said the inclusion of the cemetery on the list supports its assessment that it is a heritage site rich in resources and memories.

A spokesman added: “NHB is working with stakeholders in the public sector and the community to document and promote the cemetery’s heritage. NHB will also explore how Bukit Brown Cemetery’s heritage can be preserved, retold and/or integrated with future developments for the area, while recognising the need to balance Singapore’s land use and housing needs with heritage preservation.”

A spokesperson for the Urban Redevelopment Authority said the government is aware of the heritage value at Bukit Brown Cemetery and has commissioned the documentation of graves affected by the construction of the new road.

However, Bukit Brown is needed to meet Singapore’s longer term housing needs.

She emphasised that the development of the remaining area of the cemetery will not take place so soon.

The spokesperson added: “Singapore has been consciously conserving both built and natural heritage in our urban planning… Elsewhere, we have also been actively conserving buildings, structures and streetscapes that are familiar and endearing to Singaporeans. However, planning for the long term in land-scarce Singapore does require us to make difficult trade-off decisions.

“We will have to continue to ensure that sufficient land is safeguarded island-wide, and find ways to make good use of our limited land in order to meet future demand for uses such as housing, industry and infrastructure.”

Other sites on the list include the Karo villages near Indonesia’s Lake Toba and Yangon’s historic city centre in Myanmar.

Article taken from Channel NewsAsia

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