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Massive cost estimated to repair quake-damaged historical sites

Massive cost estimated to repair quake-damaged historical sites

Great cost estimated to repair damaged heritage

Repair and restoration of 34 historical sites damaged by the Feb. 6 earthquake was initially estimated to cost NT$520 million, Minister of Culture Hung Meng-chi said on Monday.

Twenty-three of the 34 damaged historical sites are located in the city of Tainan, with the State Temple of the Martial God and the Tainan Confucian Temple being the most severe cases, Hung said.

The Ministry of Culture dispatched a cultural heritage emergency team on the same day of the earthquake to assist in inspecting the structures of the damaged historical sites and their strengthening, the minister said.

On the next day, fences that were more likely to collapse were strengthened, and those looked ready to crumble, such as the drum tower of the Wind God Temple, were cordoned off for safety concern, Hung added.

According to the experience of the 921 earthquake, the most important task in the process of repairing and restoring quake-damaged historical sites is to make them watertight to prevent further damage, Hung said, adding that he will meet with local governments to discuss follow-up operations.

Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and also commonly known as the "Capital City" for its over 200 years of history as the capital of Taiwan under Koxinga and later Qing dynasty rule. It is famous for its temples, historic buildings and local foods.