Hue’s relic becomes coffee shop

Published: 23/05/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge РTu Phuong Vo Su (meaning everything is save and sound), an important relic in Hue city ancient citadel, has been leased for VND200 million ($10,000) a year to open a caf̩.

Tu Phuong Vo Su was built in 1923 under the reign of King Khai Dinh. It was the place where the king and his royal family took the air and enjoyed a view and the place where princes and princesses of the Nguyen Dynasty studied. Due to climate impacts and wars, the relic was seriously downgraded by 1968. This is a valuable architectural work of the complex of Hue relics. An archaeological survey was carried out at this relic in 2001. The Center for Preservation of Hue Ancient Relics spent over VND9 billion dong (around $600,000), to restore this relic from 2008 to 2010. However, a coffee shop of the same name with the house opened at this relic on May 22. The shop owner said that he hired the relic at the price of VND200 million a year, in three year duration. The coffee shop is open from 6am to 10 pm every day. The landlord is the Center for Preservation of Hue Ancient Relics.

Many tourists and local people have expressed their anxiety for the appearance of a coffee shop at this relic. Ho Tan Phan, a researcher of Hue culture, said that Tu Phuong Vo Su is part of the Hue ancient citadel, a world cultural heritage that is recognized by the UNESCO. “It is unacceptable to abuse relics and exchange cultural benefit with economic benefit,” he said. Thua Thien-Hue province’s Vice Chair, Ngo Hoa said that the provincial authorities permitted the Center for Preservation of Hue Ancient Relics to lease Tu Phuong Vo Su. Hoa said that the coffee shop is opened to serve tourists to have a place to rest and take some drink.

Hue city was chosen to be the capital of the Southern Kingdom under Nguyen Lords’ Dynasty, and officially became the nation’s capital under Tay Son Dynasty, King Quang Trung. The citadel palace complex is located on the North bank of Huong River (Perfume River), inside Hue city. It is a huge complex covering an area of 520ha and comprising three circles of ramparts, Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). It was set up by Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945, is now one amongst the relics of the Hue ancient capital – the World Cultural Heritage, capturing much of tourists’ attention. TA

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