THUA THIEN-HUE – Central Hue City has received over US$7.2 million towards the restoration of its monuments from foreign partners in the last 20 years.
Local Monument Conservation Centre Director Phan Thanh Hai said that he appreciated the co-operative support between the city and countries from around the world in cultural conservation and relic restoration.
Hai recalled the first international funding Hue received from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust, which helped the city restore the Ngo Mon or Noon Gate of the Imperial City in 1992.
Following Japan's initial example, Poland sent experts to restore damaged altars while the Lao government provided 400 cu.m of valuable timber.
Thanks to such efforts, Hai's centre has equipped itself with valuable new technology from partner countries.
The director added that preservation should be based on using traditional methods and scientific techniques that meet international standards.
Hai said without recent support from the German Cultural Exchange Association from Leibniz and the East-West Association in the restoration of interior fresco paintings at An Dinh Palace, his centre would have spent much for little result. He praised the team for its great experience and technical training.
Since 1993, the Toyota Foundation (Japan) has granted around $100,000 for 10 research projects while the Fulbright Programme, Ford Foundation New York University (the US), Rhone Polenc Chemicals Enterprise (France), Japan Foundation, Waseda University, JICA, ACCU (Japan) and the Korea Foundation (Korea) funded approximately $600,000 in enhancing management and conservation skills among centre staff members.
Hue needs more fund
Hai said that since 1996, the city has spent VND60 billion ($2.85million) on restoration and conservation per year, which has proved insufficient. He said the centre has called on the Government for additional funding of VND150-200 billion ($7.1-9.5million) per year.
The director said there was little international ODA invested in the cultural field, however, he hoped to attract more towards the city's restoration and conversation projects.
Ancient Hue's monuments were the first tangible world cultural heritage sites recognised in Viet Nam in 1993. The city, once capital under the Nguyen dynasty during the 19 century, was the only area in the country to preserve royal fortifications, palaces, temples, mausoleums, pagodas and bridges. -- VNS