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Thailand approves 45.35 mln USD budget to restore historical sites

(Xinhua)

18:58, December 06, 2011

BANGKOK, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Thai cabinet approved Tuesday a budget of 1.4 billion baht (45.35 million U.S. dollars) for the restoration of 313 historical sites in 41 provinces across Thailand, which were damaged by the months-long flooding, Culture Minister Sukumol Kunplome said.

The cabinet also resolved to allocate 45 million baht (1.46 million U.S. dollars) for the reconstruction of 141 mosques and churches throughout the country, the culture minister added.

According to the minister, the Fine Arts Department has so far finished surveys of 212 out of 313 historical sites and will report the ministry which ones are needed to be repaired first.

Concerning historical sites in central Ayutthaya province, Thailand's former capital, the minister said that following a survey by specialists from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the team found damage from flooding such as flaking, mildew stain and efflorescence on murals.

The worst floods in over half a century, inflicted by heavy monsoon rains and several tropical storms, have lashed 65 out of 77 provinces across the country since late July, leaving over 650 people dead and affecting more than 13 million people.

Tens of thousands of manufactures were swamped, putting over a million of employees at the risk of losing their jobs and causing about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars worth of loss, let alone the economic damage which was expected between 23 billion to 28 billion U.S. dollars.

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