The historic Ghafoor building in Colombo Fort is being renovated at a cost of Rs. 620 million under a program initiated by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to preserve the antiquity value of the buildings while making them commercially viable.
The Ghafoor building was built over 100 years ago and was built by Noordeen Hajiar Abdul Ghaffoor, a pioneer jeweller and gem merchant. The five storey building has a floor area of 8,250 - square-foot.
The Ghafoor Building was listed in the gazette as a 'Protected Monument' under the Antiquities Ordinance in 2000 but has thus far remained neglected with little renovation done on the landmark site.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who is the Minister of Urban Development has instructed the UDA to undertake the renovating old buildings in the city of Colombo, including the Ghafoor Building, so as to preserve their antiquity while making them commercially viable Ministry officials said.
The renovation work is being carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy and the University of Moratuwa on the instructions of the UDA.