Government to lead restoration plan for A-Ma Temple following blaze

Representatives of the Cultural Affairs Bureau discuss restoration plans with management members of A-Ma Temple.

The Government would formulate a detailed plan to conserve and where possible restore the pavilion and relics damaged in a suspected accidental fire at A-Ma Temple. It is estimated by the Cultural Affairs Bureau that the basic work would take two to three months. The likely timetable was announced after several site visits and meetings with the management board of the Temple. It might take at least one year to repair fully the structure and interior of the affected pavilion, which is A-Ma Temple’s main pavilion, added the Bureau. The Government would give its full support to the Temple’s management during the restoration process. The help would include: providing a thorough fire safety inspection at the Temple; safeguarding the architectural structure of the Temple and protecting its surroundings; and providing advice for the restoration work. The fire broke out early on Wednesday morning, resulting in severe damage to a temple altar, some wall plaques, inscribed tablets and some wooden furniture. The main structure of the affected pavilion – including its main beams, walls and roof – was slightly damaged, but can comfortably be repaired. The statue of the Goddess A-Ma – the item of greatest historical value in the damaged pavilion – suffered no major damage, the Bureau said. The suspected cause of the fire was a malfunction of electrical equipment. The affected pavilion of A-Ma Temple remains closed until further notice. The Government is highly concerned about this incident and calls on all owners, managers or staff at Macao’s heritage sites to ensure they are properly protected. They are asked to pay particular attention to electrical safety. A-Ma Temple is an important part of the Historic Centre of Macao, which is included on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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