Heritage Dept archaeologists begins research work on fort
MALACCA: Several archaeologists from the Heritage Department have begun research work at the site where the fort believed to be the remaining of Bastion Victoria is buried underneath.
Bastion Victoria, fronting the Malacca river is part of the larger A’Famosa fortress built by Portuguese to safeguard the interest especially evading attack from the sea.
Last month, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam announced that the Federal Government has disapproved a proposed multi-storey car-park project at the site following the discovery of the bastion underneath the site.
He said that the Information, Communication Culture and, Arts Ministry has asked the state government to source for another alternative area after soil test at Padang Nyiru confirmed there was a fort with historical values buried underneath.
The site, neighbouring Malacca’s Little India and St Francis Church,is currently a car park managed by a private concessionaire.
Mohd Ali said the state government has received an official letter from the ministry, a few days ago requesting us to repeal the proposed project in a bid to conserve and unearth the relics.
He said the remains of the ancient fort dating back to the era of Portuguese rule in Malacca (1511-1641) was discovered in the middle of a core zone of the heritage city.
Mohd Ali said the state government also has expressed hopes that a replica of the fort could be re-enacted if the ruined of the bastion is unable to be fully restored to its past glory after the completion o fexcavation works by the relevant agencies.
“As for the state government, we have no qualms although our proposal has not be accepted as ancient fort cannot be damaged by a modern project and definitely would become another tourist attraction once the site has been restored”, he said.
Mohd Ali said from feedback gathered it was known the ministry wants to re-construct some of the vital portions of the fort and conduct more research at the site.
In 2007, parts of the bastion and the walls an extension to the A’Famosa fortress left by the Portuguese were discovered during construction of the RM24.5mil Taming Sari viewing tower in Jalan Quayside next to the Malacca River.
Following the find, the Federal Government issued a stop-work order to preserve the 17th century Dutch-era fortress and the 110m revolving tower project was relocated to another site.
Middleburg Bastion, estimated to be 1.5km long, was a strategic military landmark in Malacca, built 250 years ago.
It was built as an extension to the A’Famosa fortress left by the Portuguese. [News link]
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