Relics suffer from neglect
  • | nguoilaodong, | January 06, 2014 02:45 PM

Among 2,000 relics and historical sites in Hanoi, over 400 are illegally occupied by locals, according to a recent survey by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


 Clothesline in front of a altar room in Thanh Nhan Pagoda

One of the sites is Thanh Nhan Pagoda, on O Cho Dua Street. The pagoda, which was built in Le Dynasty, was officially recognised as a national relic in 1989. However, 22 households are living in the pagoda.

The chief monk, Thich Dam Nguyen, said "A ban on making dramatic changes to the 5,000 square metres of land and all the buildings house on it was announced in 2008 but a family still built a five-storey house in 2011. We then made a report and the authorities ordered a halt on construction but they were ignored."

The head of Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, To Van Dong, said violators would receive strict punishment. 

Meanwhile, people in Chang Son Commune, Thach That District, have been angry because the chief monk of Chan Long Pagoda, Thich Minh Phuong replaced old statues with new ones. He even replace hundreds-year-old statue inside with one of himself.

Chang Son Communal authorities reprimanded the monks in 2010 but the violations were not fixed, leading widespread public anger. The authorities had to seek help from other agencies such as the police and committees for religious affairs.

Dinh Huong Tomb, a stone architectural complex in Bac Giang Province was recognised as national relic in 1965 for its stone carvings. It has since been neglected, however. People have stolen many stones from this complex while others lead cattle there for grazing. Graffiti also has appeared on many of the sculptures.

Currently, various relics and historical sites in Vietnam are deteriorating and are in desperate need of restoration.

Leave your comment on this story