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Vietnam rebuilds Forbidden City palace ravaged by war

Vietnam rebuilds Forbidden City palace ravaged by war

Monday, February 18, 2019, 17:02 GMT+7
Vietnam rebuilds Forbidden City palace ravaged by war
A reconstructed photo of Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Hue Monuments Conservation Center

Construction has started on a megaproject to rebuild a war-destroyed palace located inside Vietnam’s ancient Forbidden City in the central city of Hue, the country’s former capital.

The Kien Trung Palace, first built between 1921 and 1923 under the reign of Emperor Khai Dinh, was an important building of the Forbidden City serving as a living and working space for the final two emperors of the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam.

It was also the place where Emperor Bao Dai and the newly-formed Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, headed by President Ho Chi Minh, met to discuss his abdication, following the August 1945 Revolution that liberated the country from colonialism.

Located at the far back of the imperial complex in Hue, Kien Trung Palace incorporates elements of three types of architecture -- traditional Vietnamese, French, and Italian Renaissance -- to form a unique style that embodies an era of Western influence over Vietnam.

The building was completely ravaged in the late-1940s during the First Indochina War (1946-1954), leaving only its elevated foundation.

An elevated foundation of the Kien Trung Palace is left after the building was destroyed during the war. Photo: Thanh Binh / Tuoi Tre
An elevated foundation of Kien Trung Palace is left after the building was destroyed during the war. Photo: Thanh Binh / Tuoi Tre

On Saturday, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center (HMCC) kick-started a project to rebuild Kien Trung Palace.

The VND123 billion (US$5.32 million) project, expected to finish in 2022, will fully erect the building from the ground based on old photos and historical records.

Phan Thanh Hai, director of HMCC, said the reconstruction of Kien Trung Palace reflects continued efforts to conserve the Forbidden City complex, which is a popular cultural attraction in the central Vietnamese city.

Officials perform a groundbreaking ceremony to inaugurate the rebuilding of the Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Thanh Binh / Tuoi Tre
Officials perform a groundbreaking ceremony to start the rebuilding of Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Thanh Binh / Tuoi Tre
A file photo of the Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Hue Monuments Conservation Center
A file photo of Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Hue Monuments Conservation Center
Emperor Khai Dinh (L) works at the Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Hue Monuments Conservation Center
Emperor Khai Dinh (L) works at Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Hue Monuments Conservation Center
A reconstructed photo of the Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Hue Monuments Conservation Center
A reconstructed photo of Kien Trung Palace in the Forbidden City in Hue. Photo: Hue Monuments Conservation Center

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