12 Sep 2013

Fiji's historic Levuka calls for specialist help

1:24 pm on 12 September 2013

The historic Fijian town of Levuka is searching for specialists to help preserve the old buildings which have helped earn it World Heritage status.

The town's timber buildings are a significant part of the port which the UN agency UNESCO found to be an outstanding example of late 19th century Pacific port settlements.

The Chief Executive of the Levuka Town Council, Suliana Sandys, says since receiving World Heritage status in June, the town has enjoyed more visitors and economic activity but it is also under pressure to ensure the buildings are kept up.

"Some that have been closed and not taken care of regularly have begun to rot. The others, there's still time to save them if we can get this type of skilled workers. It'll help us because they can tell us really what needs to be done, what type of timber to use, especially now we're getting more rainy days than we used to."

Suliana Sandys says investors are being encouraged to restore and reopen buildings, including four large ones on the main street.