World-record mural street partially destroyed to feed Hanoi construction frenzy

By Tat Dinh   June 9, 2020 | 08:15 am GMT+7
World-record mural street partially destroyed to feed Hanoi construction frenzy
A section of Hanoi's "Ceramic Road" at the Nghi Tam-Xuan Dieu intersection is destroyed for a construction project, June 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh.

Over 600 m of ceramic mosaics along Hanoi’s iconic, Guinness record holding “Ceramic Road” have been demolished for road widening purposes.

Demolition of the section at the Nghi Tam-Xuan Dieu intersection began in early June. Dozens of workers came to barricade the area, with bulldozers sent to break apart multiple mural sections.

Pham Hoang Tuan, director of the Project Management Board for Hanoi Traffic Construction, said the demolition was "compulsory" for the second phase of a construction project of an overpass at the An Duong-Thanh Nien junction, which spans 3.7 km.

The project is needed to relieve traffic congestion and connect Noi Bai International Airport and Ba Dinh District, a political hub, he said, adding the project was approved by the municipal People’s Council at the end of 2018.

"We have reported the demolition to city authorities and the head artist for the "Ceramic Road." The murals could not be removed or recycled. Once the project is complete, there would be taller, wider walls with steel-reinforced concrete. If artists wish to continue decorating it, we would help them do so to beautify the urban scene," said Tuan.

Head artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, director of the New Hanoi Arts Company, said the partial demolition of "Ceramic Road" would affect the Guinness World Record granted for this structure, as well as several sponsors of the project.

"It’s truly regrettable. When designing the murals, I did not expect the city would widen the road. The mural sections include the efforts of many artists, the love of many international organizations and sponsors for Hanoi. I hope the city could provide the budget to restore the destroyed mural section and create opportunities for artists to continue lengthening the ‘Ceramic Road’," she said.

Hanoi "Ceramic Road," also known as Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, spans almost 4,000 m from Nghi Tam Street to Van Kiep border gate. The mural entailed multiple paintings on various themes, made from ceramic tiles embedded on the walls of the Red River dike system.

Construction began in 2008 and finished in 2010, in time for the capital’s millennial anniversary. The structure was awarded a Guinness World Records certificate as the world’s largest ceramic mosaic in 2010.

The overpass project was planned by the Hanoi People’s Committee in 2015, with a total investment of over VND815 billion ($34.96 million). The first phase saw the construction of an overpass at the An Duong-Thanh Nien junction, which went into operation in October 2018. The second phase began last December at a street section from Thang Loi Hotel in Tay Ho District to Nhat Tan Bridge, which involves widening and replacing parts of the embankment with steel-reinforced concrete.

 
 
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