Inscribed stones in danger of being rubbed away by human hands

The steles of Hanoi’s Temple of Literature listing the doctoral candidates between the 15th-18th centuries are in danger of being literally erased from history as visitors run their fingers through the names.

Van Mieu steles endangered by human touch
Thanh Nien News, 01 Mar 2010

Eighty-two stone steles at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature – first National University) in Hanoi are in danger of being irreparably damaged because of the large number of people who are touching them.

Temple official Nguyen Hai said last Thursday that more than 70,000 people visited the place over four days of the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival from February 14-17.

“People visiting the Temple of Literature during Tet has for long been a cultural feature.

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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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