Restoration nation

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Residents take cattle to graze in Hanoi's Duong Lam Village. Photo: Diep Duc Minh 

The historic village of Duong Lam in Hanoi’s Son Tay District was granted a 2013 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation on February 18, making it the fifth restored project in Vietnam to receive the title.
The village was honored for its achievements in restoring five buildings with great architectural, historical and cultural value, according to the international organization.
The buildings include the village gate, the On Pagoda, the Giang Van Minh Temple, and the two ancient houses of Nguyen Van Hung and Ha Van Vinh, news website Vietnamplus reported.
The process of restoration was supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which dispatched Japanese volunteers since 2008 in the fields of architecture, heritage conservation and community development. In 2011, the volunteers began implementing a project to promote self-sustainable community development through heritage tourism in cooperation with Showa Women’s University and Vietnamese counterparts.
Duong Lam was recognized by the government as Vietnam’s first “Ancient Village” in 2006.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Katherine Muller Marin, Chief Representative of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam, said the restoration project had helped to preserve the authenticity of the five constructions of the ancient village.
She said she hoped that the success of the restoration project of Duong Lam Village would be an inspiration for other restoration projects in Vietnam.
On the occasion, UNESCO also awarded certificates of merit to 27 individuals, including 15 foreigners, and three organizations for their significant contributions to the project.
Four other restoration projects in Vietnam have received the prestigious UNESCO cultural heritage conservation award. They are a lost bomb shelter at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel Hanoi (2013), the Tang family chapel (2009), the ancient Viet house (2004), and the historic old town of Hoi An (2000).
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