Thang Long Imperial City
The statuette of a woman that dates back to the 17th century. It is one of millions of artefacts excavated within Thang Long Imperial Citadel since 2002. Photo hoangthanhthanglong.vn

Though Thang Long Imperial Citadel was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, the city has yet to fulfil the commitment to unify the management of the site.

Both management organisations and scientists have expressed their hopes to unify the management of the site to better preserve it. 

Unified management

Thang Long Imperial Citadel covers a total area of 18,353ha and the site is under the ownership of the city of Hanoi, the Ministry of National Defence and two families who made significant contributions to the national revolutions.

According to the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre, the city manages 16,654ha now, 91 per cent of the total heritage area.

The remaining area, possessed by sub-units of the Ministry of National Defence, including the Vietnam Military History Museum and a petrol station on nearby Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, and two families who made significant contributions to the national revolutions.

According to an agreement between the Party Committee of Hanoi and the Central Military Commission, the Vietnam Military History Museum will be relocated and the site will be handed over to the city in 2022.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc did not agree with the proposal of retaining the petrol station on Nguyen Tri Phuong Street of the defence ministry.

At the same time, the People's Committee of Ba Dinh District and the Department of Construction of Hanoi are implementing a plan to relocate and compensate two families who manage 0.15ha of the heritage site. They have committed to handing over the land in the next quarter two of this year.

Associate Professor, Dr Tong Trung Tin, Chairman of the Vietnam Archeology Association, said the top concern of UNESCO, authorities and scientists about Thang Long Imperial Citadel is its unified management.

According to him, Hanoi has made great efforts in implementing the commitment to UNESCO and has acquired most of the area of the heritage site over the years.

 

Tin suggested the city work to speed up the unified management on the rest of the area that has not yet been acquired.

Hanoi leaders have pledged that the city will seriously implement the Government's commitment to UNESCO on the unification of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

The city will work with the Ministry of National Defence to accelerate the construction of a new Vietnam Military History Museum in Nam Tu Liem District to take over its former location for the heritage site. 

Unified management of relics

The archaeological excavations of Thang Long Imperial Citadel since 2002 have unearthed millions of relics of various types from ceramics, chinaware, to metal objects.

On December 4 last year, the People's Committee of Hanoi and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the plan for the handover of all the remaining relics from 2020 to 2025.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Dao Cuong suggested the items should be handed over as soon as possible.

According to him, although this process has been done for a long time, it is impossible to preserve and display the relics as long as they have not been fully handed over.

The relics are classified into many types, so the receiving and managing unit must evaluate and classify them before building the project for their archaeological display.

Professor, Ph.D Nguyen Quang Ngoc, Director of Centre for Hanoi Studies and Capital Development said the unified management of Thang Long Citadel heritage has taken too long and related agencies need to speed up the progress.

He also said that the handover and reception of relics must comply with the Law on Cultural Heritage. VNS

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