Culture Culture

17/05/2019 - 07:59

"Hue shall be preserved forever"

"The Institute for Urban and Regional Studies (Japan) reports that it has successfully requested funds to continue its research activities in the next 4 years. Thus, there will be more opportunities for the model of "Ecological study tour " at King Gia Long's tomb to soon put into operation ...," Ms. Le Thi Thanh Binh, Deputy Head of Foreign Relations Department (Hue Monuments Conservation Center) happily shared.

The Emperor of Japan visiting Hue

From the call "Save Hue"

International cooperation to serve the restoration of Hue monuments took place from the 80s of the last century. To date, visiting Hue heritage sites, it is easy to recognize "international friends" through the restored monuments from foreign cooperation projects with countries such as Japan, Germany, United States, Poland, French, the UK, Korea, Laos, Thailand, Italy, Canada ...

Through international relations, Hue heritage complex not only benefited from international funding, modern technology, equipment and modern conservation techniques, but also from on-site human resource training. It is with the cooperation of international friends that Thua Thien Hue is confident with the preservation of Hue cultural heritages, as affirmed by the cultural adviser of UNESCO Asia-Pacific region Richard A. Engelhardt: "Hue shall be preserved forever”.

UNESCO is the initiating organization and has always devoted the most active support in terms of finance, technology as well as international mobilization to sponsor the preservation of Hue monuments. Nearly 40 years since the "Call to save Hue cultural heritage" in 1981 launched by UNESCO, Hue heritage complex has received cooperative relations with more than 10 governments and 30 non-governmental organizations, 10 international organizations, which attracted nearly 10 million USD through technical and financial sponsorship packages.

Japan is a country with very early cooperation with Thua Thien Hue and is a special partner in the field of restoration and preservation of Hue cultural heritage. Through UNESCO, experts from Waseda University (Japan) came to Hue from the early 80s to support the preparation of evaluation and surveying documents on the status of Hue Imperial monuments complex.

Since 1990, Japan has begun activities to fund the restoration and preservation of Hue heritages, with the first big project – “Ngo Mon Gate restoration”. Subsequently, Japan helped Hue to prepare a dossier to submit to UNESCO for the Hue Monuments Complex to be recognized as a World Cultural Heritage in 1993.

On that basis, in 1993-1994, Hue Monuments Conservation Center and Waseda University officially established independent relationships. The move to this new step helped the two sides identify specific contents and works to be studied. Through its relationships, Waseda University invited more wood experts from other organizations in Japan, together with the Hue team to study the issues related to wood materials to propose appropriate conservation solutions for the heritage site.

Long Duc Palace and Chieu Kinh Palace are two works at the Imperial Citadel that were renovated and rebuilt with the support of both professional and financial partners of Waseda University and other partners during this period.

To applicable products

Through nearly 30 years of exchange and cooperation since the relationship between the two sides had been established, the relationship of cultural exchange between Japan and Thua Thien Hue continues to have big developmental steps. Japan not only helps Hue with research, professional training on restoration, conservation of monuments and preservation of intangible cultural values, but it is also the country with the largest and most important financial support.

The Hue Monuments Conservation Center and Waseda University cooperated to study the issues of sustainable conservation of historic rural and urban environments along the Huong River in the years 2016-2018. The results were breakthrough conclusions and recommendations to preserve the Hue area associated with the Huong River as a unified whole and develop sustainably. These results serve effectively for the preservation and restoration of Hue monuments, especially the compilation of a dossier on the re-nomination of the world cultural landscape that the Center is implementing.

The "ecological study tour" at King Gia Long's tomb is one of the specific cooperative products that the two sides achieved in this period. The project encourages local people to join hands in the protection, use and management of cultural landscape resources in the royal tomb area in the upper part of the Huong River; at the same time, it opens up opportunities for sustainable livelihood conversion for the local people.

Story: DONG VAN - Photos: NHAT MINH