UNESCO con­cerned for ci­tadel safety

Viet Nam News - - Life & Style -

HAØ NOÄI — The direc­tor of UNESCO’s World Her­itage Cen­tre has of­fi­cially asked Vieät Nam to ver­ify and pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the on­go­ing con­struc­tion next to the site of the Thaêng Long Ci­tadel, which was placed on the World Her­itage List in 2010.

In a doc­u­ment sent to the am­bas­sador and per­ma­nent del­e­gate of Vieät Nam to UNESCO Paris last Fri­day, Döông Vaên Quaûng, the UNESCO Haø Noäi Of­fice and the Na­tional Com­mis­sion of Vieät Nam for UNESCO, Direc­tor Kishore Rao noted that the con­struc­tion of the Na­tional Assem­bly House and sur­round­ing wall could be caus­ing ir­repara­ble dam­age to the site, which might pose a po­ten­tial threat to the au­then­tic­ity and Out­stand­ing Uni­ver­sal Value of this World Her­itage prop­erty.

It also high­lighted is­sues re­lated to the man­age­ment of the ci­tadel that might im­pact the prop­erty’s up­keep.

On July 18, the Vieät Nam As­so­ci­a­tion of His­tor­i­cal Sciences, the Vieät Nam Cul­tural Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion and the Viet­namese Ar­chae­ol­o­gists As­so­ci­a­tion ap­pealed to the Prime Min­is­ter that on­go­ing con­struc­tion of the Na­tional Assem­bly House threat­ened the World Her­itage sta­tus of the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site next door.

“ Ob­vi­ously, this is­sue is filled with con­cerns,” said head of the Viet­namese Ar­chae­ol­o­gists As­so­ci­a­tion, Toáng Trung Tín.

“How­ever, I’d like to make it clear that UNESCO’s re­quest for an ex­pla­na­tion is un­likely to mean that it will be taken off the list of World Her­itage Sites next year. To some ex­tent, this wake up call gives us the chance to re­solve the in­ci­dent and draw ex­tremely im­por­tant lessons for the conser- va­tion of her­itage sites.

“I hope that all par­ties con­cerned can get to­gether to dis­cuss and put for­ward so­lu­tions, im­me­di­ate and long- term, to pro­tect this her­itage site,” added Tín.

“ That ’ s the only thing we can do at the mo­ment. If we ad­dress it se­ri­ously and sci­en­tif­i­cally, I'm ’ con­vinced that UNESCO will ap­pre­ci­ate our ef­forts and good­will, and sym­pa­thise with our cause.”

A week later, the Vieät Nam Na­tional Com­mis­sion for UNESCO re­quired par­ties con­cerned to make a re­port to the Prime Min­is­ter and rec­tify re­ported wrong­do­ings as soon as pos­si­ble. Ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion, it was likely that UNESCO would send over an in­ter­na­tional del­e­ga­tion to as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and raise the is­sue at a meet­ing in July next year.

The Min­istry of Cul­ture, Sports and Tourism on Mon­day called for the Min­istry of Con­struc­tion to re­quest rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to re­pair the dam­age to Zones C and D at the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site.

Vice chair­per­son of the mu­nic­i­pal Peo­ple ’ s Com­mit­tee, Nguyeãn Thò Bích Ngoïc, said on Tues­day the city had worked with the cul­ture min­istry to press the project’s man­age­ment board to clear up con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als around the ci­tadel in the next cou­ple of days.

As the rain­ing sea­son peaks, drainage at the site must be ready and well pre­pared, Ngoïc said.

“More im­por­tantly, un­cov­ered ex­ca­va­tion pits must be filled with sand to help pre­serve any relics in­side them. Some pits are roofed so they are not in­un­dated with rain wa­ter.

This work will be un­der­taken by the In­sti­tute of Archaeology.” —

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