Vietnam focuses on heritage sites

HANOI, 19 December 2019: Vietnam is activating projects to improve and recognise culture and heritage sites in the country.

At the weekend, a project to landscape the gardens at Gieng Temple under the Special National Historical Relic Site of Hung Kings Temple in the northern province of Phu Tho, was officially completed after three months of construction.

Meanwhile, officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and representatives from the central province of Ninh Thuan met to discuss a Cham pottery village’s application for UNESCO status.

The landscaping at Gieng Temple was carried out at a cost of VND30 billion raised from private sector sources.

According to the director of the management board of the Hung Kings Temple relic site, Nguyen Duy Anh, the project included upgrading approach roads, lighting and planting trees, as well as building 50 booths with architecture compatible with the surrounding area.

Official said it was important to complete the improvements well in advance of the Lunar New Year 2019 holiday.

The Hung Kings Temple and festival is an important site for Lunar New Year travellers.

The Hung Kings Temple is located on Nghia Linh Mountain, Phong Chau District, in Phu Tho province, about 100 km northwest of Hanoi. It is a complex of ancient tombs, monuments and temples.

The annual festival to commemorate the Hung Kings, which falls on the 10th day of the third lunar month, was first recognised as a national event in 2007.

In other heritage developments, officials from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism discussed a plan to gain UNESCO status for the Bau Truc Cham pottery village.

The purpose of the conference was to collect ideas from domestic, foreign scientists, researchers and experts, as well as study documents to support a dossier that will be submitted to UNESCO.

Ninh Thuan Province’s People’s Committee, deputy chairman, Le Van Binh, said that the final application dossier would be forwarded to the UNESCO Committee in March 2019.

The Bau Truc pottery village in Ninh Thuan Province is one of the oldest ceramic villages in Southeast Asia. About 85% of the village’s 400 households make pottery.

The village, which has existed since the reign of the Cham King Po Klong Garai (1151-1205), holds a ceremony every year to honour Po Klong Chan, the founder of the village.

One of the most outstanding features of the traditional Cham pottery is the technique of shaping items by hand rather than by a potters’ wheel and their use of simple tools or shells to decorate the products.

However, because of industrialisation, Bau Truc pottery is declining, with fewer workers engaging in the craft.

(Source: VNAT and VNS)