Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – In a ceremony at the Hồ Citadel today, the US Embassy’s Country Public Affairs Officer Molly Stephenson announced a grant of US$92,500 to conserve the stone vault and the south gate of the Hồ Citadel in the central province of Thanh Hoá. This grant was provided through the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
Built in 1397 by the Hồ dynasty as the capital of Đại Ngu, Hồ Citadel is unique for its outstanding construction technique, which uses large blocks of stone, weighing from 10 to 26 tonnes each, carefully shaped, interlocked and elevated to about 10 metres high. The citadel served as a military stronghold to protect the country from invasion, thus becoming a symbol of patriotism and national pride, and a witness of Vietnamese history during the late 14th and early 15th century.
For the past six centuries, however, the forces of nature took their toll on the site. The south gate, especially the left – or western – stone vault, is the most important original structure within the citadel complex, but is also the most seriously damaged.
US dollars: The US Embassy’s Counselor for Public Affairs, Molly Stephenson, presents the grant to the Hồ Citadel preservation project in Thanh Hoá Province.
The project will allow the Conservation Center for Hồ Citadel to conserve the stone vault and south gate, counter the effects of climate degradation and ensure the integrity and beauty of the historic site. Once completed in 2019, the project will help commemorate the 25th anniversary of US-Việt Nam diplomatic relations.
Speaking at the ceremony, Stephenson said, “Today, through our support to conserve the stone vault and south gate of Hồ Citadel, we express our deep respect for Việt Nam’s rich legacy and traditions. Cultural heritage offers a bridge between the past and the future, but also enriches our present-day experience. We are honoured to stand by your side today to help preserve this historic structure for the benefit of future generations.”
Established in 2001 to help less developed countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate US respect for other cultures, the Ambassador’s Fund has supported hundreds of projects in 120 countries worldwide. Việt Nam has been awarded 14 projects since 2001, totalling US$1.13 million, each contributing to the preservation of different aspects of Việt Nam’s diverse heritage. — VNS