| The huge need for investment in the restoration and preservation of heritage
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Hue Monuments Complex and 20 years of Nhã nhạc (Royal Refined Music) honored by UNESCO as a world heritage, the Provincial People's Committee launched Hue Heritage Conservation Fund. The Fund was established on October 20, 2022, according to Decree No. 84/2022/ND-CP of the Government on the establishment and operation regulations of Hue Heritage Conservation Fund.
The Decree clearly states that Hue Heritage Conservation Fund is a national fund established by the Government and assigned to the People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province to directly manage in order to mobilize resources to invest in restoration, conservation, development of Hue heritage value and invest in works and items whose funds have not yet been allocated or insufficiently allocated by the State budget.
The fund mobilizes support from the State budget of the provinces and centrally-run cities (excluding the budget of Thua Thien Hue Province), the contributions, aid, and sponsorship from domestic and foreign organizations and individuals, including voluntary or purposeful sponsorship...
Mr. Hoang Viet Trung, Director of Hue Monuments Conservation Center, said that at present, the need for investment in the restoration and conservation of heritage is huge. For the Complex of Hue Monuments, in the 1996 - 2020 period, the total investment capital for the conservation and restoration of monuments is about 1,900 billion VND. In the 2021 - 2025 period, the planned investment capital is only about 1,000 billion VND for 5 years.
Notwithstanding the great attention from the central and local authorities, the investments have not yet met the needs of heritage restoration. Investment resources for this work remain limited, currently only partially meeting the need, let alone the provincial and national system of monuments managed by the Department of Culture and Sports, which is in dire need of resources for restoration work. The establishment of the Hue Heritage Conservation Fund will add resources to the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage in the province.
On the occasion of the launch, Hue Heritage Conservation Fund received support and contributions from organizations, businesses, and individuals with over 7.6 billion VND, 6.8 billion VN of which was contributed by Tai Loc Traffic Construction Production Company, Ltd.
Purposeful and flexible
The complex of monuments of Hue ancient capital is not the heritage of Thua Thien Hue alone but that of the whole nation. In the past, tourists from many localities to Hue, who witnessed the degraded monuments, also desired to contribute to the conservation of the national heritage. However, the Budget Law does not allow the use of the budget from one locality to support other localities. The establishment of the Hue Heritage Conservation Fund solves this issue. The Fund is entitled to receive support from the State budget of the supporting provinces and cities, funding from domestic and foreign organizations and individuals, and other lawful revenue sources.
| Tourists visiting Đại Nội Huế ( Hue Royal Palace)
According to Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports, Hue Heritage Conservation Fund is a new and specific mechanism that will create new resources for the cause of conserving and promoting heritage values. Previously, when organizations and individuals supported the restoration work, it was necessary to develop the projects and create a new coordination mechanism for implementation. Now, localities, organizations, and individuals who desire to give support can transfer it to this conservation fund. Therefore, the resources that could not be mobilized before can be now mobilized.
Mr. Hai also said that the Hue Heritage Conservation Fund needs to operate in accordance with the spirit of heritage conservation, not only to restore monuments. If monuments are restored, the investment is not only for the Complex of Monuments of Hue ancient capital, but on the whole, it must meet the diverse goals of conserving and promoting heritage values. Any valuable heritage of Thua Thien Hue, suitable monuments, and even buying a valuable book or painting… can coordinate resources from this fund. In addition to the right criteria, the fund's purpose and operational mechanism should be open and flexible. Therefore, the locality will be more proactive in restoring and conserving heritage, especially in handling emergencies for endangered monuments or antique auctions.
Mr. Hoang Viet Trung said that hopefully, in the long run, the resources from the Hue Heritage Conservation Fund will contribute partially to restoring, conserving, and promoting the value of Hue cultural heritage. Aside from the investment in big projects, the fund also invests in the general cultural categories of Hue such as historical monuments managed by the Department of Culture and Sports, which are currently facing difficulties in restoration due to the limitation in budget, antiquities, ancient documents, investiture…
For the Hue Heritage Conservation Fund to operate effectively, first of all, there is a need to mobilize the contributions of localities, organizations, individuals, and businesses. The fund will build a website to call for contributions from the whole society. The use of the fund must also be on the right track, in compliance with the regulations and processes with the participation of the fund management council including leaders of the Provincial People's Committee and relevant departments and agencies.
Some are of the opinion that the operational mechanism of the Hue Heritage Conservation Fund should have a coordinating council, absolutely avoiding privileges or group interests. Concurrently, there should be a mechanism to honor organizations and individuals that contribute to the fund.