Constructions deface feudal university

Published: 03/04/2010 05:00



Cultural authorities in Thua Thien Hue city have expressed concern over unauthorised constructions within the Nguyen Dynasty’s Quoc Tu Giam.

Three arches of Hue’s Quoc Tu Giam, the Nguyen Dynasty-era university, have been walled up following a theft in February.

Cultural authorities in the central province of Thua Thien Hue have expressed concern over unauthorised constructions within the Nguyen Dynasty’s Quoc Tu Giam, the former royal university where princes and sons of top feudal officials were trained.

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The structure, which retains its original form, houses the provincial History and Revolution Museum from where four guns were stolen during Tet in February.

The theft prompted museum authorities to wall up all arches and gates to keep out intruders. Nine arches in the eastern building and one in the western building are among those to be blocked. Three of the eastern arches carried the legend Quoc Tu Giam carved in Chinese characters.

A 2m high, 7m long wall has been built beyond the eastern building to seal it off from the residential quarters outside. The back gate, opening to the university’s library which now houses the Royal Antiques Museum, has been blocked off by a tall wall.

“The constructions have seriously distorted the core zone of the relic,” Phung Phu, director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, said, adding he had already complained to the provincial People’s Committee.

“Any constructions or restorations at national relics like the Quoc Tu Giam must be authorised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism,” he said, citing the law on cultural heritage.

Phan Tien Dung, director of the province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, confirmed that his department did not approve the constructions and they are unauthorised.

“We will go to the site to check all the constructions soon,” he said.

The university was established in 1908 with the main structure built in Vietnamese style. The two buildings housing the classrooms were added seven years later using French architectural style, historians say.

It is located in the core zone of the Hue royal citadel complex which UNESCO recognised as a world cultural heritage in 1993 and is designated as a national special relic requiring strict conservation.

“It is the country’s only surviving feudal university,” Dr Phan Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, said, noting the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi no longer had the buildings that once housed classrooms.

Source: Vietnam New

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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