Excavation to assess state of crumbling Hue royal palace

By Vo Thanh   June 1, 2021 | 08:16 pm PT
Excavation to assess state of crumbling Hue royal palace
Thai Hoa Palace inside the Hue Imperial Citadel is seen from above. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has allowed archaeological excavation inside Hue’s crumbling Thai Hoa Palace to assess its foundation and brick system.

The palace is part of the UNESCO-recognized Hue Imperial Citadel.

Vo Le Nhat, director of the Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments, which manages the Hue Imperial Citadel and other relics from the Nguyen Dynasty, said the center has been granted license to carry out the excavation to assess the current state of the relic.

The excavation will start June 5 and last for 15 days.

The ministry has asked that the center protects the stratigraphy (order and position of layers of archaeological remains) and not publish conclusions of the archaeological excavation without permission from the ministry and the Cultural Heritage Department.

The artifacts collected during the excavation process must be temporarily kept at the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum for preservation, the ministry has ordered.

The Thai Hoa Palace was built in 1805 during the reign of King Gia Long, the first ruler of Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam's last royal family (1802-1945). The palace is where Nguyen kings and functionaries once convened for political discussions.

The condition of the palace has deteriorated seriously and has been deemed at risk of collapsing during the stormy season. The center had earlier submitted a proposal to the culture ministry for a VND150 billion ($6.49 million) renovation project to save the palace.

The Hue Imperial citadel, a UNESCO world heritage site in Hue Town of Thua Thien-Hue Province, is a leading tourist destination in Vietnam. The town received more than 4.8 million visitors in 2019, 2.1 million of them foreigners.

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