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Hue celebrates UNESCO heritage recognition

Update: September, 23/2013 - 08:20
Treasured moment: A performance of nha nhac (Hue royal court music) at the meeting commemorating 10 years of the inscription of it in the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity was held in Hue yesterday. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu

by Phuoc Buu

THUA THIEN HUE (VNS)— Hue held a series of cultural events welcoming international and local delegates to the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of UNESCO's recognition of Hue's monuments and the 10 years since the recognition of the city's royal court music.

The events were held from Thursday to Sunday.

A meeting with officials from UNESCO, the Government, provincial authorities and the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre was held yesterday to review the past 20 years since the world cultural heritage was recognised by UNESCO.

Delivering a speech at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Hue was a unique centre of culture and tourism where the monuments and buildings had been preserved.

The former capital had worked hard to gain recognition by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site in 1993, he said.

"The path of 20 years of conservation and promotion of cultural values in Hue has taught us valuable lessons," he said.

Phuc noted that the Government had issued a plan to promote heritage in Hue, urging local authorities to find ways to preserve and exploit the monuments to develop the locality.

UNESCO representative to Viet Nam Katherine Muller-Marin highlighted the successful preservation of the tangible aspects of Hue's Complex of Monuments as well as the nha nhac (Hue royal court music), which was also the country's first intangible heritage to be recognised by UNESCO.

Muller-Marin noted that the values of the intangible heritage of humanity had been successfully relayed by the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, with support from local authorities.

"I am pleased to learn that the centre has received the endorsement of the local People's Committee as it plans to develop the heritage site," she said, noting the contributions of local authorities.

"The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre has achieved significant results in heritage conservation over the past decades, and UNESCO should support its activities to conserve wooden structures in particular," she said.

The UNESCO representative also pledged close co-operation with the centre for the next stage of conservation.

In response, local authorities admitted they had struggled to conserve the true values of tangible and intangible heritage in the city, but were determined to improve the situation.

"Hue will encourage the participation of locals and promote co-operation with international supporters to conserve and promote the sites," said Nguyen Van Cao, chairman of the local People's Committee.

On Friday, the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre opened two exhibitions at the royal palace, one of which is displaying heritage sites from around the world.

The other which runs until November 25 features handwritten documents and signatures by 10 kings under the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945).

On display are more than 150 documents which were drafted by administrative agencies from local to central levels and then submitted to the Kings for consideration and approval. They covered politics, the military, diplomacy, economics, culture and society. They are reliable evidence of the administrative system as well as the culture, history and art of the Nguyen dynasty, said director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, Phan Thanh Hai.

The Hue Museum of Artefacts also exhibited a collection of porcelain plates that were used during the dynasty. The artefacts were lent to the museum by collectors Doan Phuoc Thuan and Tran Dac Luc from the central province of Phu Yen.

A set of bronze musical instruments used for nha nhac was also presented to the centre by Vietinbank. Experts and locals were delighted by the events to celebrate the anniversaries, and hoped that local heritage and cultural values would live on for generations to come. — VNS



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