- 2006/12/03 Historic wall part of Portuguese or Dutch fort

Malaysia: A wall discovered in the historic Malaysian city of Malacca is probably part of a fort built during Portuguese or Dutch rule between 1511 and 1824, a news report said Sunday.

Workers stumbled on the brick wall on Nov. 25 while laying the foundation for an observation tower. Archaeologists have said it appears to be part of the ruins of a colonial fort.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim said the government will preserve the wall and conduct a study of it, national news agency Bernama reported.

Rais said the discovery was important to Malacca's heritage and could become a tourist attraction.

"It will bring immense benefits to Malacca and Malaysia," he was quoted as saying after inspecting the wall.

The observation tower project will be moved to another site, Rais said in the report.

He could not be immediately be reached Sunday for comment.

Malacca is located midway between Malaysia's largest city, Kuala Lumpur, and its southern neighbor, Singapore.

A major trading center and port since the 15th century, Malacca was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511 before coming under Dutch occupation in 1641, and subsequently British rule in 1824.

"All we need to do is to record the colour of the buildings and the year of repainting them" he said.

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