Conference discusses restoration and management of heritage sites

Tay Phuong Pagoda, Viet Nam News 20120324

A recent conference (the article doesn’t mention its name) talks about mismanagement in the restoration and running of heritage sites.

Tay Phuong Pagoda, Viet Nam News 20120324
Tay Phuong Pagoda, Viet Nam News 20120324

Clumsy restorations harm heritage sites [Link no longer active]
Viet Nam News, 24 March 2012

Clumsy restoration of religious sites such as pagodas and temples is damaging their historical and cultural values, according to speakers at a conference here yesterday.

Privately-funded restoration work had, in some cases, destroyed original pagoda structures, due to the lack of knowledge of local building contractors, said Buddhist monk superior Thich Quang Tung.

In other cases, designs and patterns had been destroyed and the names of some pagodas replaced, he said. For instance, Lan Dong Pagoda in the northern province of Quang Ninh was rebuilt and renamed Truc Lam Zen Monastery, while the Bao An Pagoda in the northern province of Vinh Phuc was renamed the Tay Thien Zen Monastery.

Encroachment by surrounding households was also frequent, he said. Quang Hoa and Dong Quang pagodas in Ha Noi and Ven and Hang pagodas in Hai Phong had lost land to neighbouring households but no agency had acted to stop it.

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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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