Renovation of Nam Phou Square in Vientiane Capital is now complete, with the iconic fountain and surrounding park officially handed over to the public.
The government approved the return of the Nam Phou area to the government in June, stating that as an important heritage site, Nam Phou Fountain should be open for public use.
The concession holder, AIDC (AIF Group), agreed to return the site to the government without compensation, according to a statement issued by the company.
Nam Phou’s deteriorating condition in the mid-2000s caused the government to privatize the public area, granting AIF Group (AIDC) a 30-year concession on the 4,000-square-meter site.
In 2017, the fountain was transformed into a live music venue with double-storey restaurants and bars. After the closure of entertainment venues during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nam Phou area was eventually converted into a cursory skate park.
But criticism from the public led the government to propose the site be returned to public use in its original form.
Nam Phou Square has now been renovated and returned to something more befitting a public space, with trees, green areas, and public seating.
Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh visited the fountain on Wednesday to preside over a handover ceremony and art exhibition that officially brings the treasured public space back to the people.