Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM — The central province, in co-operation with the Institute for Conservation of Monuments under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, will begin an urgent project to protect the B3 tower in the UNESCO-recognised Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary from collapse before the rainy season kicks in.
Deputy Director of the provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hồ Tấn Cường said an emergency fund of VNĐ1.5 billion (US$66,000) would be used to reinforce the foundations and structure of the tower, which has been in poor condition for years.
Director of the management board of Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, Phan Hộ, said many cracks were found in the tower, some up to 6m long, 18cm wide and 1.2m in depth. The tower is subsided 3 degrees to the south-west.
Hộ said the tower, which is close to the B1 and B4 towers, was surrounded by the Khe Thẻ stream, and as such artesian water ran through the B3 tower.
The tower was found to be slanting in 1990 by Polish archaeologist and architect Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, known as ‘Kazik’. Its foundations were strengthened by cement and supports.
Hot spot: Tourists visit Chăm towers in the UNESCO-recognised Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary. — VNS Photo Công Thành
According to the management board, parts of structure, including the roof, were damaged by bombs during the resistance war against the Americans in the 1960s. The tower was then restored by a group of Polish architects in the 1980s.
The B3 tower was built in the 10th century for the worship of Ganesha, the elephant-headed god in Hinduism. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati. It’s 9.5m high and 5.3m long, with a 4.5m base.
The tower is considered a typical sacred Chăm decorated tower in the Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary.
UNESCO-recognised Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, 70km southwest of Đà Nẵng, is a favourite destination for tourists, along with the UNESCO-recognised world heritage Hội An town, and the world Biosphere Reserve Chàm Island-Hội An.
The sanctuary has been a focus of UNESCO support during the past decade.
Experts from the University of Polytechnic of Milan’s Lerici Foundation and the Institute for Conservation of Monuments of Việt Nam helped restore the G towers, including G1, G2, G3 and G5, at a total cost of over US$1.6 million, funded by the Italian Government in 2003-13. — VNS