Monday, September 25, 2017

China to refurbish National Theatre and Thuwunna Stadium

China has again come forward with aid to refurbish two gifts it gave to Myanmar more than 30 years ago – the National Theatre and Thuwunna Stadium, both built in the 1980s. Chinese technicians are already surveying the two structures.

The National Theatre, now grown dilapidated, is due for repairs.(Naing Win Htoon / The Myanmar Times)The National Theatre, now grown dilapidated, is due for repairs.(Naing Win Htoon / The Myanmar Times)

Chinese ambassador Hong Liang said on May 20, “China gave these two buildings as a present. But the buildings are getting old and need refurbishing as a sign of the goodwill and friendship between our two countries.”

Next month marks the 66th anniversary of the opening of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and China.

China has sent 12 technicians to prepare for the refit, and initial reports indicate that though the structure of both buildings is sound, considerable renovation is needed.

In the National Theatre, the stage area and lighting equipment needs replacing and much of the decoration is in bad shape. Thuwunna Stadium needs new décor, air conditioning and a fire safety system. No budget or timetable have yet been established, the ambassador said.

“We are awaiting the technicians’ report, but we expect the budget to be huge. We hope the work can be completed quickly,” he said.

Agreement was reached on the project at the China-Myanmar Providing Assistance Workshop in March last year, and a feasibility study was completed in January.

The 1500-seat National Theatre was completed in 1990 at a cost of K215.47 million. Thuwunna Stadium, completed in 1986, covers 69,500 square metres and has 10,853 seats.