Vietnamese authorities stop unauthorised restoration of 1,000-year-old temple

A thousand-year-old temple outside Hanoi was found to be illegally restored, with works carrid out undetected for three months.

1,000 year-old pagoda after and before its “restoration”
Vietnam Net, 31 Aug 2012

The Tram Gian (One-hundred-compartment) Pagoda will be restored to its original state, said officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The pagoda, in Chuong My District on the outskirts of Hanoi, was built in 1185 during the reign of King Ly Cao Tong (1176-1210) and is famous for its 600-year-old bell tower.

However, it has undergone restoration over the past three months without permission from relevant authorities. Inspections by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism concluded that the practice had violated the country’s Cultural Heritage Law.

Findings reveal that major structures including the main temple, the two-story bell tower and steps from the tower to the forecourt have been dismantled and rebuilt. All the wood structures, roof tiles of the main temple and the bell tower were removed and left unattended behind the pagoda while the blue marble steps were replaced with new stones.

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.

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