France to Support Preservation of Laos’ Historical Structures


A French aid organisation aims to help Laos protect heritage sites and infrastructure in Savannakhet and Champasak provinces, with discussions of a €6 million-project ongoing.

Director General of the National Heritage Department Thongbay Phothisane told the Vientiane Times that the project’s main focus is restoring and maintaining temples, houses, and French colonial buildings of cultural significance in the two provinces.

Many of the oldest buildings are run down and at risk of crumbling because the government lacks the funds and technical expertise to properly maintain and restore them.

As protecting ancient temples and colonial buildings benefits tourism, the government welcomes the support.

Mr Thongbay said that Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) has sent a team of French experts to Laos to set up a project that will preserve some of Laos’ oldest and most important buildings.

He said AFD completed a session with Champasak officials this week and is holding talks with Savannakhet officials, Mr Thongbay added that the discussions aim to ensure both two sides agree on the project’s scope.

According to Mr Thongbay, if everything goes to plan, the project will be ready for implementation at the beginning of 2020. An initial budget of €6 million had been proposed but a formal agreement has yet to be reached.

Source: Vientiane Times, Ekaphone Phouthonesy