- 2007/01/29 Malaysia to reconstruct fortress ruins in Malacca

Malaysia will reconstruct the famous ruins of the fortress A' Famosa in the historical city of Malacca to display it to the world, local press reported Monday.

The Heritage Department under the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry will implement the project in stages and the overall work is expected to be completed by year 2010, said Commissioner of Heritage Siti Zuraina Abdul Majid.

About 350 meters of the ancient walls of the fortress built in 1511 will be reconstructed stone by stone to its original dimensions of eight meters by five meters, she said, adding the 23 historical structures within the fort's confines will also be conserved and restored.

"When completed, the fort will be one of the nation's prominent historical structures and will completely transform Malaysia's historical landscape. Visitors will literally be able to journey to the past and relive history," Siti was quoted as saying by The Star.

Currently, the department is using documents and paintings of the fort dating back to the original time of building to determine its dimensions and design, but the department may require further documents from overseas sources.

Siti also told the English daily the heritage department has requested a special budget allocation from the Cabinet.

Built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress, A' Famosa sustained severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion in 1641. The ruins of the fortress has now become a famous scenic in Malacca for tourists from all over the world.

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