The challenges of maintaining a World Heritage Site

The prestige bestowed by the World Heritage Status sometimes overshadows the responsibilities attached to it, like in the recent case of Georgetown. The ancient Vietnamese capital of Hue, recognised as a World Heritage Site in 1993, still faces significant challenges in fulfilling adequate restoration, conservation and protection.

Vietnam Hue
photo credit: KetaiBlogger

Ancient capital and world cultural heritage faces challenges
Vietnam Net Bridge, 19 November 2008

According to the Centre for Preservation of Hue Imperial Relics, the entire complex of Hue imperial relics numbers at close to 300 works. Before the relics were recognized as a world cultural site, most of the construction work was damaged at different levels. Many were seriously downgraded and could collapse at anytime. Some 42h of citadel wall was eroded by plants. 100,000 sq.m of ponds and lakes need to be dredged. 33 bridges and sewers, as well as 20km of road were seriously damaged. The whole area of the Forbidden City nearly disappeared. The royal citadel only had 62 pieces out of the original 136 pieces. The imperial city had 97 damaged elements.


Related Books:
Global Treasures HUE Vietnam
– The cultural role of capital cities: Hanoi and Hue, Vietnam. : An article from: Pacific Affairs
– Forbidden City, Hue, Vietnam Framed Photographic Poster Print by Robin Allen, 21×29

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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