Vandals destroy relics, national treasures in Hue

By Vo Thanh   November 12, 2018 | 12:56 am PT
Many relics in the ancient capital of Hue have been defaced by vandals using sharp stones, bricks or whiteouts.
Relics, national treasures in Hue are being destroyed by vandalism

The central province of Thua Thien -Hue is home to many popular monuments and national treasures that attract millions of domestic and international visitors each year.

Unfortunately, many of these relics are being defaced by some visitors who seem to take a perverse pleasure in vandalism.

In the picture above, the stone steles on the back of the turtles at the Thien Mu Pagoda in Huong Tra District are covered in scribbles by vandals. The pagoda was built in 1601 on the order of the first Nguyen lord, Nguyen Hoang, who at that time was the governor of Thuan Hoa, now known as Hue.

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Even the top of the stone turtle’s shell contains "prayers", written by visitors using whiteouts or sharp stones.

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Some of the vandals have carved their names and date of visit on the stele, erected in 1715, that describes religious rituals at Thien Mu Pagoda.

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This stele, erected in 1846, contains a poem by Thieu Tri King (1841-1847). It has also been defaced by vandals.

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Stele with writing of Thieu Tri King about the building of Phuoc Duyen Temple in 1846 is also damaged with scribbles of names.

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In addition to the stone steles, the inside of bells and drums at the Thien Mu Pagoda are covered with prayers for good fortune.

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Vandalism has ruined many stone steles with names of high achieving scholars at the imperial examinations under the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), the last dynasty of Vietnam.

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