Saigon Post Office tries new shades of yellow to fix controversial paint job

By Dinh Quan, Thanh Nien News

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Managers of the Saigon Central Post Office accidentally turned the beloved historic building into what many called an eyesore with a paint job last year. 
In response to public pressure, they are now testing new colors for the 123-year-old building, one of the top tourist destinations in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. 
This time, to be sure, they have submitted eight different shades of light yellow to the city administration, in an effort to bring back the original color of the building, which was constructed between 1886 and 1891. 
Designed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel, the namesake creator of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the three-story building was renovated last September for the first time since the Vietnam War ended in 1975.
The Saigon Central Post Office became a hot spot for tourists as part of the city's colonial core, which includes the Notre Dame Cathedral, the former Cercle des Officiers on Le Duan Street and several other French buildings on Dong Khoi and Ly Tu Trong.
The renovation is expected to wrap up by the Vietnamese Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February.
Dang Thi Nga, the post office director, admitted that repainting the building without asking for permission from the city authorities was a mistake. 
Saigon Central Post Office was nominated for being recognized as a heritage site in 2010. According to regulations, any renovation must be approved by the city administration.
Nga said that besides the initial cost of VND5 billion (US$234,250), the post office will not have to pay extra money for repainting because this time the job is sponsored and supported by a paint company and the contractor.  

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