Hue citadel main gate restoration to cost $4.8 mln

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Ngo Mon (the Gate of Noon), the main gate to the former Imperial Citadel of Hue, will be restored at a cost of VND 100 billion (US$4.8 million), newswire Vnexpress has reported.


Phan Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Hue Relics Preservation Center was quoted as saying the restoration work would begin in 2013 and take three years.


"But it will not affect tours of the gate," he said.


The Gate of Noon, built in 1833, is a complex structure that was last restored in 1992 with support from Japan. However, many structures within the relic, especially the Ngu Phung (Five Phoenixes) Pavilion, have since deteriorated again.


The project, proposed by the center and the Institute of Relics Preservation, has been delayed for three years due to financial constraints.


Last October the People's Committee of the central province of Thua Thien Hue -- of which Hue is the capital -- approved an outlay of nearly VND 1.3 trillion (US$70 million) to restore the entire citadel, acknowledged as a UNESCO world cultural heritage in 1993.


The Gate of Noon was built in the traditional Vietnamese Nguyen style during the rule of King Minh Mang (1791-1841), who used it as an observation point for troop movements and ceremonies.


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