Thua Thien- Hue Province in central Vietnam has given its nod to a US$4.9 million restoration project on the mausoleum of King Tu Duc, one of most resplendent mausoleums built under the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), in Hue City- the country’s former imperial capital.
The provincial People’s Committee has approved the five-year project, which costs over VND105 billion ($4.94 million).
The funding comes from the state coffers and other sources.
The Tu Duc Mausoleum complex, one of the most magnificent edifices constructed by the Nguyen Kings- the country's last kings- encompasses the king’s tomb located in a narrow valley in Thuy Xuan commune and nearly 50 other structures.
Tu Duc King (1829 – 1883), the fourth Nguyen King whose reign was the longest during the entire dynasty, had the mausoleum built around twenty years before he passed away.
Apart from the Tu Duc Mausoleum complex, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center recently announced it has also renovated 18 other structures, with each project costing over VND85 billion ($4 million).
Among them, the comprehensive, three-year revamp on Ngo Mon (Gate of Noon,) which is worth over VND100 billion, is slated for completion in 2015.
Ngo Mon is the main gateway to the Royal Palace and is part of Hue’s UNESCO-recognized complex of monuments. The 19 structures also include Kien Trung Palace, part of Minh Mang and Thieu Tri mausoleums, Thieu Phuong Garden, Phu Van Lau (Pavilion of Edicts), Quoc Tu Giam (imperial university), the relics’ restrooms and lightning proof system and the Royal Palace’s walls.
According to the government’s information portal in late September, Hue has received a total of almost $8 million from foreign governments and non-governmental organizations since it was recognized as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1993.
With this money, the Hue Relic Conservation Center has restored some 132 structures and components of the relics, including the city’s iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, An Dinh Palace, the Nguyen kings’ mausoleums and gateways to the Royal Palace.
Foreign governments and NGOs have also dispatched experts to help with the city’s restoration efforts.
Hue’s monuments received over 1.5 million visits from January to mid-September and earned a revenue of VND107.8 billion ($5.07 million), up 10.5% compared to the same period last year, according to the center.