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Ha Noi orders close of Zone 9 after fire

Update: December, 04/2013 - 14:51
Cultural hub: Adults participate in the Pallet workshop in Zone 9. The area's vendors are seeking public support to keep the space open after a decision from the Ha Noi People's Committee to close it. — Photo courtesy of Pallet workshop
HA NOI (VNS) — Ha Noi's People's Committee has ordered close the new art and entertainment centre Zone 9, located at 9A Tran Thanh Tong Street in Hai Ba Trung District, said an official.

The Chairman of the municipal People's Committee, Nguyen The Thao, on Tuesday issued an order requiring the district and Binh An Investment Development Joint-stock Co. to stop all operations and repairs inside Zone 9, according to chief of the office of the People's Committee Nguyen Thinh Thanh.

The decision follows the recent fire, caused by welders during construction on Fuse Bar in Zone 9, leading to the death of six workers.

Municipal authorities also called on police to speed their investigation and complete the case, said Thanh.

Zone 9, as the artists renting space in the area call it, is located inside an abandoned pharmaceuticals plant facing the French-colonial era Pasteur park, and includes five buildings dating to the 1960s, displaying various architectural styles showing influences from France, Russia and China.

Though Zone 9 has been operating for several months, it has become a hub of interest for artists, businesses and, particularly, youths and foreign expats. Currently, buildings are being renovated by many new businesses.

Promptly after local media reported the municipal People's Committee's decision, artists and businesspeople inside Zone 9 gathered yesterday morning to open a fanpage on Facebook, seeking public support.

"We did hear about the decision, but haven't received any official document, except a written document from the company [Thanh Dat Real Estate Ltd.], urging us to keep calm and seek solutions to deal with the situation," said graphic designer Tham Cam Phuong, owner of Pallet workshop.

"We had a meeting this morning and decided to establish the fanpage Trieu Chu Ky Giu Zone 9 Vi Ha Noi (Millions of Signatures to Save Zone 9 for Ha Noi), calling for the public to help with saving this cultural and art centre," Phuong added.

The fanpage received thousands of likes after it went online. In the meanwhile, activities inside Zone 9 continued as usual yesterday.

"We, artists and businessmen alike, agreed that we would prepare necessary documents, plus the signatures of fans, to submit the petition to the municipal People's Committee.

"The news came unexpectedly, as we had just ‘recovered' from the recent incident and were returning to our casual work."

"It's funny, because there is no reason to close Zone 9. As we all know, it was a work accident caused by careless welders and this may happen due to human beings' carelessness," said artist Kim Ngoc, director of Dom Dom – The Hub for Experimental Music&Art.

"What happened saddened us all and we, at Zone 9, have done what we could to share and help the victims' families financially," Ngoc said. — VNS

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