A view of Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary. File Photo
QUẢNG NAM — Việt Nam had trained 1,200 archaeologists but the figure remained modest given the number of important archaeological sites that were scattered throughout the country's 63 provinces and cities.
Director of the Institute for Conservation of Monuments Hoàng Đạo Cương made the statement at a conference to discuss measures to safeguard archaeological complexes in Quảng Nam Province on Monday.
The conference, organised by the Italian Government and Quảng Nam authorities, aimed to promote training and establish a centre in the region.
Cương said training courses for engineers, architects and workers in archaeology had been carried out for the last 10 years with support from the governments of Italy, Poland and India to restore the UNESCO-recognised Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary and Hội An Town.
“Education and training courses for specialised archaeology have been included in the curriculum at colleges and universities in Việt Nam to meet the demand for human resources. However, high-level training in archaeology has not been available,” Cương said.
“Vietnamese workers and architects have benefited from on-site training with experts from Poland, Italy and India at archaeological sites in the Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, Hội An and the Chăm Towers in central Việt Nam since 1985.”
Italian ambassador to Việt Nam Antonio Alessandro said co-operation in archaeology and culture was a top priority for Italy and Việt Nam.
“Protection of heritage and culture around the world is a priority for Italy, and we have been working with Vietnamese to protect Mỹ Sơn. This conference will tell stories of wonderful friendships from which we have provided and shared experiences as well as technology for the management of the site,” Antonio Alessandro said.
He added the project had built a school and a training centre in the province.
Rector of Quang Nam Technology School Nguyen Quyet Thang said 58 archaeologists and staff had been trained thanks to non-refundable funding of more than 1 million euros, of which the Italian government provided 750,000 euros from 2017-19.
The UNESCO-recognised Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, 70km southwest of Đà Nẵng, is a popular destination among tourists, along with the UNESCO-recognised 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 Milan’s Lerici Foundation and the Institute for Conservation of Monuments of Việt Nam helped restore the four towers at a total cost of over US$1.6 million, funded by the Italian government from 2003-13.
The project also paved the way for a study of the brick production skills of the ethnic Cham people.
The project has also helped to build risk maps and a geographic information system.
The restoration of the towers also highlights the concrete results of the collaboration between Quang Nam and UNESCO over the past decade, providing evidence of how heritage tourism and creative industries can contribute to sustainable development. – VNS