The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore announced in 2011 that an expressway will be built, cutting across Bukit Brown, which generated significant interest in this place and ignited passionate debate. No doubt, here many pioneers that contributed to building up of modern Singapore are buried here. Needless to say, there are those who do not mind this place seeing torn up, making way for urban development, and those who would want to see this area conserved as it is. Our guide also pointed out some decorative features among the graves of Singapore's more wealthy. Of particular interest to me, was the use of tiles. Objects that were at one point, used in the kitchen, then transferred to living rooms, to the facade of shophouses (which I have seen in pre-war houses of Singapore as well as Penang) and then, finally as decorative pieces at the final abode of Singapore's tycoons of the past decades. On noticing the remarkably healthy sheen of the colours on the tiles, we were informed that the tiles were manufactured out of a process that used heavy metals, not very environment friendly and therefore now banned, but that ensured the stability of colours over all these decades.
Point of interest: the dead were not buried below these tiles, in fact body was consigned to the ground on the other side of the tombstone, with the feet directly below the tomstone and the head further beyond. So it is quite ok to step on these tiles without worrying of any signs of disrespect.
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