The work to repair Na Tcha Temple will commence next week, Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) President Guilherme Ung Vai Meng told reporters Thursday.
The temple, which is popular with locals and tourists alike, is part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage.
Ung made the announcement after a meeting with members of the legislature’s to discuss the government’s cultural heritage protection bill.
The temple, located adjacent to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, has been closed since a fire, suspected of being the result of a short circuit, broke out on the night of March 31. The temple’s store room was damaged by the fire but its main structure was unaffected.
Cheong Cheok Kio, who heads the bureau’s Cultural Heritage Department, said that the government was paying about 300,000 to 400,000 patacas to renovate the temple and repair the damage.
Cheong also voiced confidence that the restoration would be finished before June 25 (18th day of the fifth month according to the lunar calendar), the day worshippers celebrate the birth of Na Tcha.
He said that the bureau had finished its report about the fire and would send it to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage in Beijing by next week.
Ung was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying that he would have a meeting on Saturday with the managers and proprietors of Macau’s temples on ways to improve safety measures.
“With the help of the Fire Service, we have set up guidelines [for temples] on fire safety,” said Ung, adding, “We hope that temple proprietors and managers will be alert and cautious and we don’t want to see anything like this happening again.” (macaunews)