Villagers scorn heritage status

Five years after the Duong Lam Village in Ha Tay Province was awarded with a heritage status, the locals are finding it hard to get permits to construct modern facilities or larger houses and want the status revoked. Stories like these raise issues that while heritage preservation and the preservation of monuments is important, there are sometimes real and undesirable effects to those who live in such heritage sites and that the interests of both must be addressed.

Duong Lam Village, Vietnam Net Bridge 20110109

Modern-loving locals turn back on ancient village
Vietnam Net Bridge, 09 January 2011

Many told Tuoi Tre they want the village’s “ancient” and “heritage” status to be removed.

They said they did not enjoy any benefits from the status but only met trouble after their village was recognized as a national heritage by the Ministry of Culture and Information five years ago.

Because the village in Son Tay town 60km west of Hanoi is now “ancient”, houses there must also be ancient and a ban has been issued on buildings higher than one storey.

Ha Thi Khanh’s two-floor house recently had its second storey dismantled by local authorities who warn they would demolish other tall houses.


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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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