SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore has named its water research facility the van Kleef Centre. This is to honour Dutchman Karel Willem Benjamin van Kleef, who lived in Singapore in the 19th and early 20th century.
He bequeathed his fortune to build the Van Kleef Aquarium, which was demolished in 1996.
The research facility was named in conjunction with a visit by the Queen of Netherlands.
Queen Beatrix was accompanied by members of the royal family, Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, as well as foreign affairs and foreign trade ministers.
They visited the Aquatic Science Centre, where researchers showcased research work on urban water management and water sensitive urban design.
Ambassador—at—Large Professor Tommy Koh was one of the guests. Prof Koh said it was important for Singaporeans to remember and honour foreign friends who had been good to Singapore.
He said: "I want them to remember that this is a foreign friend of Singapore who loved our country so much that he bequeathed his fortune to us, and also to remember the aquarium which has disappeared.
"Because for two generations of Singaporeans, it was the only aquarium in Singapore, and we all went there. We loved the aquarium and it made an impact on some people."
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