Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ancient ruins in Hanoi preserved despite new construction

With help from Japan and UNESCO, Viet Nam will begin to restore the ruins of an ancient imperial city in Hanoi to celebrate the capital’s 1,000th birthday in 2010, Agence-France Presse reported Sunday.

Artifacts that have been discovered so far include terracotta figures of dragons and phoenix heads, as well as ceramics, canons, swords, and coins. Ancient palace foundations that date back 1,300 years have also been unearthed. The discovery helps strengthen Viet Nam’s bid to have parts of the ancient city recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The restoration of the ancient city has caused a dispute, however, between heritage and development forces. The ruins were discovered in 2002 while excavation work was being done to build a new national assembly building. However, according to some officials, the development of the new building will allow for the adjacent ruins to be saved.

“The government has decided to preserve the area, not to build a national assembly building here,” said Bui Minh Tri, secretary of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel site project and deputy director of Vietnam’s Institute of Archeology. “We will build a museum or a historical park.”

For the full article, click here.


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