There will be colour at the dilapidated Sia Boey Market in George Town this Sunday when the Penang government launches its RM100 million Sia Boey: Reborn project.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the 5.5-acre project will regenerate and rejuvenate the market, the long-neglected Prangin Canal and its vicinity, and transform the area into a centre for art.
He said the Penang Arts Society, Penang Chinese Brush Painting Art Society, Penang Oil Painting Society and local galleries will be showcasing their artworks at the launch ceremony.
To mark the start of a new era, Lim said there will be a week-long exhibition to celebrate the past, present and future of Sia Boey at Prangin Market from this Sunday.
“The public will be able to delve into the rich history of Sia Boey and view the plans for this landmark.
“We invite everyone to come and witness how Sia Boey will transform Penang into the premier destination for artists and art lovers, for locals and tourists,” he said at a press conference at Komtar today.
Part of the plan for Sia Boey is the centrepiece Ilham Penang, a privately funded public art museum. ‘Ilham’ is the Malay for inspiration.
Lim said the state will also ink an agreement with the future sponsor of the museum for an expected RM30 million.
Also in the pipeline is the restoration of shophouses in the area, which will house art galleries, studios, schools, workplaces, restaurants and cafes.
The Victorian Prangin Market will show off another famous Penang art form: its street food. Meanwhile, Prangin Canal will be upgraded to complement a two-acre public park with sculptures and installations.
The entire project, which aims to make George Town an internationally arts and culture destination, is scheduled to be completed by 2018.
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