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Conservation master plan to breathe life into Intramuros
Rosa Ocampo, Manila, January 30, 2013

A MASTER plan to redevelop and conserve Manila's historical walled city of Intramuros will spawn a river promenade, theme parks, boutique hotels, museums, theatres and other attractions.


Though details are not yet known, TTG Asia e-Daily understands that the restoration project will be open to private investors. Meanwhile, Augusto Rustia, chief, Cultural Properties and Conservation Division of the Intramuros Administration, said some components of the master plan are already underway.


Maestranza Park, facing Pasig River, will have a promenade, a dock for river cruises, cafes, restaurants, shops and exhibition areas, patterned after Singapore’s Clarke Quay. The reconstruction of San Ignacio Church also started this year to make way for an ecclesiastical museum, which will house 7,000 artefacts.


Other developments include the conversion of the former Ateneo Municipal School into a boutique hotel and the transformation of the space along Santa Lucia Gate into a small-scale theme park of Old Manila’s historical landmarks, similar to Madurodam in The Hague. The American Barracks will also house an American colonial period museum.


Rustia, whose department is being consulted for the master plan, said he would like Intramuros’ restoration to include more features, such as the revival of the Rajah Sulayman Theater and the art performances in Puerto Real.


However, he lamented that there was a lack of funds and conservation was not a priority in the country.

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