Saturday, December 14 2019


New book explores HCM City heritage

Update: November, 01/2017 - 09:00
Losing history: The Saigon Tax Trade Centre, one of HCM City’s heritage buildings built more than 100 years ago, was torn down to make way for a new metro line and new buildings. —
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Female archaeologist Nguyễn Thị Hậu, deputy general secretary of the Việt Nam History Association, has introduced her latest book on urbanisation and heritage preservation in HCM City.  

The 420-page book, Đô Thị Sài Gòn-TP HCM City Khảo Cổ Học và Bảo Tồn Di Sản (Sài Gòn-HCM City Archaeology and Heritage Preservation), features Sài Gòn, now HCM City, and its history and development in different periods.

It focuses on how the urbanisation process has affected Sài Gòn/HCM architecture and discusses the destruction of and serious damage to significant heritage buildings in the city. She also writes about how heritage sites have been replaced by property projects on prime land plots. 

The book, which is part of Hậu’s two-year survey which began in 2014, was funded by the National Foundation of Science and Technology (NAFOST).

“In the view of an urban archaeologist, I’m sorry that some old buildings built 100 or more years ago have disappeared,” said Hậu at the book-signing ceremony on Book Street (Nguyễn Văn Bình Street) last week in HCM City. 

“This architecture, including the industrial buildings Bình Đông Wharf and Ba Son Shipyard, were invaluable heritage sites that can never be rebuilt,” she said.

Urban heritage should be preserved, especially buildings located on prime real estate plots in HCM City, she said.  

“We should preserve not only each heritage building but also the area covering it, because the full plot has its own value,” she added.  

Hậu, one of the country’s few female archaeologists, has completed many surveys on urban areas in southern cities.

Architecture remains nearly unchanged in many areas and has not been replaced, according to her works.

She has travelled to many places in the country and abroad to talk about her views and surveys.

“After reading my new book, I hope to encourage readers, particularly young people, to change their attitude and behaviour and learn more about archaeology, and to stay involved in keeping the soul of these heritage sites,” said Hậu.

Đô Thị Sài Gòn-TP HCM City Khảo Cổ Học và Bảo Tồn Di Sản is being released by the HCM City General Publishing House. It is available in bookstores. — VNS



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