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Ancient palace will be rebuilt

Update: July, 13/2012 - 10:49

 

Lunch time: A model of King Khai Dinh having lunch at the Can Chanh Palace before it was destroyed during the war in 1947. — File Photo
HUE — Japan's Waseda University and the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre have completed work on a scaled down replica of Hue Citadel's Can Chanh Palace.

The wooden model will assist in the rebuilding of the palace, which was originally built in 1804 but destroyed during the war in 1947.

Japan provided nearly US$10 million to build the wooden replica of the palace, which is scaled down to a ratio of 1:10.

The project is part of a programme that begun in 1998 to research and preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the former royal capital city of Hue.

To work on the preservation of the palace, experts from Viet Nam and Japan have to rely on political and historical documents dating back to the Nguyen dynasty, while also using black and white photos taken in early 20th century and measurements of the remaining palace foundations. They also had to research the construction techniques used to build the palace and interview traditional artisans and elderly people who saw the actual palace before it was destroyed.

"We decided to build this replica to gain experiences and the necessary knowledge for the restoration of the Can Chanh Palace in the future," said

 

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently agreed to provide US$16,872 for training courses on heritage preservation techniques for Vietnamese experts.

In September this year, Polish experts will hold a training course to teach museum employees how to preserve objects made of cloth, paper, metal and stone.

The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre organises the training courses and invites 30 people working on preserving heritage at sites such as the Hue Citadel, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Citadel of Ho Dynasty, Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary to take part.

Nakagawa Takeshi, director of the Heritage Institute at the Wasada University.

"Building a scaled-down replica is an important way to test the structure's dimensions as well as the construction techniques," he said.

Phan Thanh Hai, the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre's director, said the project was of great importance to the city.

"We wish to restore the entire palace and expect to restore not only an architectural work but also a cultural icon of Hue city," he said.

Experts will continue to discuss ways to restore the place, in a project that has a US$32 million price tag and is expected to be completed in 2015.

The 1:10 scale replica of Can Chanh Palace is on display at a showroom behind the Duyet Thi Duong Royal Theatre in Hue Citadel, along with information on the restoration project including file photos, technical drawings, 3D images and documentary films about the work.

History enthusiasts and visitors from all over the world are invited to contribute their ideas on the project, and from the showroom visitors can have a panorama of the Forbidden Citadel of Hue and study the remaining foundations of Can Chanh Palace.

The palace, built in 1804 during the reign of King Gia Long, was a venue for the King to host important ceremonies and festivities, and where he convened his court and received foreign dignitaries. It was the Forbidden Citadel's largest and most beautiful palace before it collapsed in 1947.

The Can Chanh Palace was celebrated for its intricate engraved patterns and motifs, and has been praised in poems written by Nguyen kings and mandarins. — VNS

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