Workers set up scaffolding and barriers around the statue of General Tran Nguyen Han to prepare for its removal from the Ben Thanh Market roundabout in Ho Chi Minh City.
The District 1 Public Services Company will oversee the statue's move to District 6’s Phu Lam Park some time before December 12.
Built by the South Vietnam army during the Vietnam War, the statue commemorates General Nguyen Han (unknown-1429) who helped Emperor Le Loi in his insurrection against China's Ming Dynasty occupiers in the 14th century, which ended victoriously with the establishment the Le Dynasty (1428-1788).
The bust of Quach Thi Trang at the same roundabout, will be moved to the Ly Tu Trong Park in District 1.
Trang was a student who was killed in 1963 during a demonstration against the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem, who was assassinated in a coup d'etat later the same year.
The relocation of the statue and bust is expected to cost over VND3.3 billion (US$154,600), VnExpress reported.
Over the past few days, many people hoping to get a last photo with the general have been told to keep a safe distance.
“Seeing the scaffolding go up around the statue fills me with regret because the city will lose an iconic image,” said a worker who has cared for the plants around the roundabout for over 30 years.
“Many people are very regretful about that. But all know it is for the sake of the city’s development,” she said.
The roundabout is being removed to make way for the Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line.
The whole railway spans nearly 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) between District 1 and District 9.
The 2.6 kilometer section between Ben Thanh Market and Ba Son Shipyard will be the only underground portion.
The US$1.2 billion project, funded by Japanese aid, is expected to wrap up in 2018.