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US supporting conservation of Ho Citadel

Released at: 17:25, 30/10/2018

US supporting conservation of Ho Citadel

Photo: The US Embassy

$92,500 from US Ambassador's Fund to go to conserving stone vault and south gate.

by Ngoc Han

In a recent ceremony at the Ho Citadel in north-central Thanh Hoa province, the US Embassy’s Country Public Affairs Officer Ms. Molly Stephenson announced a grant of $92,500 to conserve the stone vault and the south gate of the citadel, provided through the US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.

Built in 1397 by the Ho Dynasty as the capital of Dai Ngu, Ho Citadel is unique for its outstanding construction technique, which used large blocks of stone weighing from 10 to 26 tons each, carefully shaped, interlocked, and elevated to about ten meters high. The citadel served as a military stronghold to protect the country from invasion, thus becoming a symbol of patriotism and national pride and witness to Vietnam’s history during the late 14th and early 15th century. For the past six centuries, however, the forces of nature have taken their toll on the site. The south gate, especially the left - or western - stone vault, is the most important original structure within the citadel complex but is also the most seriously damaged.

The project will allow the Conservation Center for Ho Citadel to conserve the stone vault and south gate, counter the effects of climate degradation, and ensure the integrity and beauty of the historic site. Once completed in 2019, the project will help commemorate the 25th anniversary of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

“Today, through our support to conserve the stone vault and south gate of Ho Citadel, we express our deep respect for Vietnam’s rich legacy and traditions,” Ms. Stephenson said at the ceremony. “Cultural heritage offers a bridge between the past and the future and also enriches our present-day experience. We are honored to stand by your side today to help preserve this historic structure for the benefit of future generations.”

Established in 2001 to help less-developed countries preserve their cultural heritage and to demonstrate the US’s respect for other cultures, the Ambassador’s Fund has supported hundreds of projects in 120 countries worldwide. Vietnam has been awarded 14 projects since 2001, totaling $1.13 million and contributing to the preservation of different aspects of its diverse heritage.

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