Renovation plan proposed for HCMC museum

By Ha An   March 21, 2021 | 04:44 pm PT
Renovation plan proposed for HCMC museum
On Le Thi Hong Gam Street, the HCMC Fine Arts Museum's gate is deflected and cannot be closed properly. The banner, put up by the museum, reads: "Warning, dangerous area, please do not come close." Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Damage to Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum should be assessed while part of its fence and guardhouse be fixed, a department suggested.

Spread across a plot of 3,500 square meters in District 1, the museum has incurred a lot of damage in the past few years, especially to its three major buildings, its guardhouse and part of the fence.

According to the museum, after construction of a commercial skyscraper began next door in 2012, three of its buildings have subsided and suffered cracks to their walls and floors.

On the side of Le Thi Hong Gam Street, the museum's fence, which is two meters high and 50 meters long, has subsided and projects outwards.

The guardhouse on this side of the street and a showroom have also suffered cracked walls.

Now in its proposal sent to the city administration, the Department of Construction said it would work with the skyscraper’s investor to rebuild the damaged fence and guardhouse.

The investor is Saigon Glory Company, member of Bitexco Group that has invested in a commercial skyscraper bordering four central streets in District 1.

As for the three buildings in the museum complex, the department said it needs further assessments as the damage they have been suffering could also be caused by other construction projects in the area, including the city's metro line No. 1, expected to complete within this year.

In response to the proposal, HCMC’s vice chairman Vo Van Hoan has assigned the Department of Culture and Sports to set up a plan on renovating and preserving the museum.

A note to keep track of the cracks inside one of the main buildings on February 20, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An

A note to keep track of the cracks inside one of the main buildings of HCMC Fine Arts Museum, seen on Feb. 20, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An.

The city, along with Saigon Glory Company, would determine the funding amount for projected repairs.

In September last year, the company submitted a plan to repair the museum to city authorities.

The move came after the city had asked the municipal Department of Construction and related agencies to order the investor to carry out urgent repairs to parts of fences, gates and floors of the museum and return them to their original design.

Officially opened in 1992, the museum is housed in a villa built in 1929 for Hua Bon Hoa, a China-rooted businessman. With its U-shape and blend of eastern and western styles, the museum was the first building in Saigon to have elevators in the early 20th century.

Currently, more than 21,000 artifacts are on display at the museum, which attracts 200,000 visitors a year.

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