The Hanoi People’s Committee has instructed the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to repair the four-kilometer-long ceramic mural in the capital city, which was recognized as the world’s longest by the Guinness World Records in late 2010.
The mural, which spans an almost 4-km dyke section along the Red River in Hoan Kiem and Ba Dinh Districts and covers an area of 7,000m², has sustained serious damage since being built in 2010.
Several sections of the masterwork now look shabby with parts of the ceramic layers falling off.
The mural is also riddled with deep cracks, with several stretching as long as 38 meters.
The cracks are believed to be caused by the contraction of concrete and bricks as temperatures change.
Some are concerned that the “ceramic street” may even break apart.
Even worse, sidewalk cafés, construction sites, and clothes hung by locals make the mural look even messier.
Though the local government already dispatched workers to make repairs to the work, the efforts has proved meager compared to its extensive, serious damage.
Construction on the 3,950m-long mural began in 2008 on a seemingly impossible idea of a local journalist/ artist.
Each square meter of the mural uses some 1,000 3x3cm pieces of ceramic.
The mural drew the largest-ever contributions of foreign artists.
It features 21 mosaic sections of various themes, ranging from decorative patterns used in Vietnam’s feudal dynasties and by 54 ethnic peoples; kids’ paintings; folk paintings; to contemporary works by local and international artists.
The project attracted major interest and contributions from local and foreign artists and artisans, international organizations, and embassies.
More than 100 international artists spent weeks and even months working on certain sections of the mural or gifted their ceramic items to the organizer.
The work, which adopts an incredible number of ceramic pieces from famed local pottery villages, including Bat Trang, Phu Lang and Chu Dau, vividly reflects Vietnam’s charm and summarizes its history.
It is one of the major projects constructed to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi in 2010.
CNN also featured the project in one of its programs in September 2009.