Vientiane City Pillar Shrine Handed Over to Government

Vientiane City Pillar Shrine

Vientiane’s new City Pillar Shrine is now finished and was handed over by the contractor to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. A ceremony took place at the shrine on Setthathirath Road, attended by representatives of the ministry and Phettaphab Housing and Road Construction Co., Ltd. Former Prime Minister and Honorary President of the project, Mr Bouasone Bouphavanh; former Minister of Information and Culture and project President, Mr Mounkeo Oraboun; Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Buangeun Xaphouvong; ministry officials, monks and representatives of nearby villages attended the ceremony. The shrine is located in Phiawat village, Sisattanak district. It was built on the spot where 473 stone city pillar fragments dating back to the 4th or 5th century were unearthed along with other artifacts.

Construction work began in 2010 but was delayed because of problems relating to the original design. Revised plans were drawn up but required the approval of higher authorities.

Phettaphab Housing and Road Construction Co., Ltd. spent 13.3 billion kip on construction, of which the ministry has already repaid 10.3 billion kip.

The shrine houses the ancient city pillar fragments. The ministry also plans to build a two-storey museum beside the shrine to exhibit other artefacts relating to Vientiane in the era of the Lane Xang Kingdom.

“The shrine and museum will become a cultural landmark in Vientiane, marking an important site of historical interest,” Mr Mounkeo said when speaking at the ceremony.

About 15 billion kip will be needed to build the shrine, museum and associated facilities. Aside from the government’s input, the ministry also received financial support from individuals and companies such as Kolao, Dao Heuang Group, ST Group, Lao Brewery Company, Duangchareun Construction Group, Lao Telecom, Khamphayxana Construction, VXP companies, Phongsavanh Bank, Khounxay Construction Development Group, DM Construction Company, Lao Soft Drink Company, K&C Group, SMV Consulting Company, and the family of Mr Phisith Xayasith.

A celebration for the Vientiane City Pillar Shrine is scheduled to be held from November 15-17.

Vientiane Times
October 11, 2012