Hanoi rejects proposal to erect Kong model at Hoan Kiem Lake

The model was suggested to be erected at the site of a monument honoring Vietnamese soldiers who were killed the first French Indochina War.

King Kong, an ape-like fictional beast, in a still photo taken from ‘Kong: Skull Island’.

A proposal to erect a giant model of King Kong at Hanoi’s iconic Hoan Kiem Lake has been turned down by the city’s administration.

The lake and its surrounding area, a relic of immense national cultural value, is “unsuitable” for a statue of the cinematic beast, Hanoi’s Department of Culture and Sports has said.

Earlier this month, in a document addressed to Hanoi’s administration, Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism requested their cooperation in establishing a life-sized model of the star of Hollywood blockbuster ‘Kong: Skull Island’ on one of Hoan Kiem Lake nearby walking streets.

The Ministry said it was an opportunity to take advantage of the movie’s popularity, the first Hollywood blockbuster to be filmed predominantly in Vietnam, to promote both Hanoi’s and Vietnam’s tourism potential.

In the document, dated March 3, the ministry suggested erecting the model at the site of a monument honoring Vietnamese soldiers who were killed the first French Indochina War.

The promotional model would stay until April 5, accompanied by information desks where visitors could learn more about the locations used for filming, the ministry said.

The request has been rejected by Hanoi’s administration on the counsel of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports.

“Hoan Kiem Lake is a national relic, and the site suggested to erect the model is a significant part of the relic,” Truong Minh Tien, the Department’s deputy director, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday.

“We have consulted with experts and found that the majority of them objected to the idea.

“For that reason, we have advised the People’s Committee of Hanoi to demand that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism choose a more suitable location for any Kong model."

‘Kong: Skull Island’ is the first Hollywood blockbuster to be filmed mainly in Vietnam, with up to 70 percent of its runtime shot in the northern Vietnamese provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Ninh and Ninh Binh.

The movie opened to tremendous commercial success in Vietnam last weekend, grossing VND62.5 billion (US$2.79 million) over the first three days, making it the biggest opening weekend in the history of Vietnam’s box office.

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