Jitters over Unesco visit after damage to Hanoi's citadel

Custodians of the Thang Long Citadel are worried that the recent damage to the ruins will prompt Unesco to revoke the world heritage listing, particularly during a scheduled inspection in June. Parts of the protective wall and soil layers were damaged as a result of construction at an adjacent plot of land.

Damage to the Thang Long Citadel. Vietnam Net Bridge 20110414

UNESCO to inspect Thang Long Royal Citadel in June
Vietnam Net Bridge, 14 April 2011

Ass. Prof, Dr. Do Trung Tin said that the institute anticipated the possible impacts caused by the construction of the National Assembly building on the citadel before the project was implemented. The institute asked the management board of the National Assembly building project to work together to preserve the heritage.

According to Dr. Tin, the project management board received the institute’s recommendations and warnings but it still carried out the project in its own way.

The board didn’t attend the meeting on April 7 to seek measures to deal with cracks and sinking caused by its project to the ancient citadel, which had representatives of the National Cultural Heritage Council, Hanoi authorities, the Cultural Heritage Department and the Institute of Archaeology.

Tin said that the Center for Preservation of Co Loa Relic and Thang Long Royal Citadel would report the case to the Hanoi government and ask Hanoi to report to the Ministry of Construction and the Prime Minister.

The expert said he is very worried about the ancient citadel because the UNESCO always keeps an eye on every impact to the heritage. “This June, UNESCO will inspect the Thang Long Royal Citadel,” he said.


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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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