My Son Sanctuary deteriorating rapidly

The management board of the World Heritage-listed My Son Sanctuary in Vietnam say that the ruins are deteriorating rapidly, despite the presence of a long-term management plan.

My Son Sanctuary, Tuoi Tre News 20111208

1700-year-old UNESCO heritage nears collapse
Tuoi Tre News, 08 December 2011

My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam, which was recognized as UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage in 1999 is falling apart at a rapid speed, Phap Luat Newspaper reported Thursday.

The 1700-year-old site which boasts a total of 20 Hindu temples and monuments used for religious activities during the ruling Champa Dynasty now has only 3 buildings that remain in good condition.

“Time, nature and people have all taken their toll on the site. My Son was under 2 meters of water in the last season, which only speeded up its dilapidation,” Nguyen Cong Khiet, deputy head of My Son Management Board said.

Full story here.


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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.

One thought on “My Son Sanctuary deteriorating rapidly”

  1. Hi Noel,

    I am not surprised about the condition of My Son. I visited this site more than 500 times. I lived one year in My Son Village and had free access to all resources there. Despite the Italian archaeologists working there, the situation is really bad. The greatest danger for the towers are the tourists – I saw some getting bricks from the walls or jumping on the towers, climbing and doing other things. Not only Vietnamese but also Western tourists. I took photos of the situation there, which would let every archaeologist fall unconsciuos if I showed them. Some towers will collapse in near future if nothing is done there.

    I communicated this to the management, and also to UNESCO Ha Noi, but there is still no answer yet. Vietnam is happy to get more and more UNESCO sites but they cannot care them. I hope in the future they will be more concerned about managing both, tourism and heritage, for the monuments. But I am also afraid, for some of these monuments, the help will come too late.

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