The construction of buildings to house the new National Library and National Museum kicked off on Thursday in Xaythany district, Vientiane.
The groundbreaking ceremony in Sivilay village, near the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum, was attended by Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara, along with senior officials from the ministry, the Vientiane administration and invited guests.
The buildings that house the existing library and museum are no longer adequate to store the expanding collections they contain, so the ministry proposed that new premises be built in a more suitable location. The projects were proposed to the Politburo, Party Central Committee Secretariat, and government.
On April 30, 2012, the government issued an announcement authorising the construction of the new premises, which are considered to be culturally important.
Following the announcement, an agreement to build the new library was signed on September 16, 2012, at the National Culture Hall between the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and Chitchareun Construction Co., Ltd.
An agreement to build the new museum was signed between the ministry and Khamphay Sana Construction Group on September 18, 2012.
The new National Library will be four storeys in height, measuring 83.1 by 41.6 metres. It will be built on an area of 11,780 square metres.
Construction will cost about 40 billion kip (US$5 million). Under the terms of the agreement, the ministry will give the existing library to the contractor for redevelopment purposes.
Construction of the new National Museum will cost US$10 million and, in a similar arrangement, the ministry will give the existing building and land to the contractor as part of the deal.
The new National Museum will be four storeys high and measure 56 by 80 metres. It will be built on an area of 29,600 square metres.
The exterior of the two buildings will feature Lao style designs, while the interior will have modern European decor.
The buildings will take two years to complete, so they should be finished by mid-2015.
Speaking at the ceremony, Depu ty Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Mr Buangeun Xaphouvong, on behalf of the presidents of the projects, called on the two contractors to be trustworthy in dealing with an y difficulties and obstacles they may face during construction. He asked them to ensure the new buildings combined elements of traditional style with attractive and sound structural design.
Recently, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism gave permission for the TK Road and Bridge Construction Company to build twin 3-storey buildings at a cost of more than US$2.7 million to house the offices of the Vientiane Times and Pasaxon newspapers on Kamphaengmeuang Road in Phonpapao village, Sisattanak district.
Construction of the newspapers’ new offices began on March 25, with the project estimated to take at least two years.
Under the agreement, the new offices are part of an exchange deal where the company will be allowed to develop the newspapers’ current premises on Pangkham Road opposite the Nam Phou fountain in central Vientiane.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 8, 2013