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 Post subject: Old Dutch Hospital (1677) in Fort a national heritage
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 2:18 am 
Old Dutch Hospital in Fort a national heritage

DM / 23APR2005

The Cultural Affairs Ministry has declared the Old Dutch Hospital in Colombo Fort as an archaeological heritage, ministry sources said on Thursday.

Among the few historical structures remaining in the Colombo Fort, the Dutch Hospital at Echelon Square is very special since it is one among few examples of 17th century Dutch architecture in South Asia, a spokesman for the ministry said.

Built in 1677, the hospital was said to be an edifice of the most advanced insights into hospital building and hygiene. It was then named as one of the highly developed hospitals among the countries owned by the Dutch East Indian Company, he said.

The hospital has almost been completely renovated in recent times. It was then said to be a pretty complex of low buildings with verandahs and spacious lawns planted with trees.

Dutch Hospital was to be converted into an Art and Cultural Centre with the help of the Ceylon Tourist Board according to the Cabinet Paper dated 21.04.2001, but the former government attempted through the Cabinet Paper dated 19.02.2003 to lease this building to a Singaporean company for 30 years to be converted into a hotel, the spokesman continued.

However the UPFA Cabinet which met on Wednesday (20) decided to declare the Old Dutch Hospital as a national archaeological heritage and to ensure the perseverance of the historical value of the site, the spokesman said adding that a joint project by the Cultural Affairs Ministry and Tourism Ministry has been proposed in this regard. (JA)


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