President Ho Chi Minh statue. (Photo: qdnd.vn)

Art critics, sculptors and officials from HCM City and neighbouring areas attending a seminar on September 10 said the city should erect more sculptural works in public areas for landscaping purpose.

The city needs more public spaces like parks, squares, schools and administrative centres, speakers at the seminars said.

The city now has only 50 statues, and of these, 10 were built before 1975.

They include statues of Tran Hung Dao at Me Linh Square, Thanh Giong at Phu Dong Roundabout, and An Duong Vuong at Nguyen Tri Phuong Roundabout, which have degraded.

New outstanding works include a statue of President Ho Chi Minh in front of the HCM City People's Committee Head Office, and Mau Tu (Mother and Child) in front of the Opera House.

Seventy-six percent of statues feature Vietnamese leaders, veterans, and historic events. The others are about cultural leaders, legendary heroes, and regional heroes.

More than half of statues are made from cement with steel, 20 percent from bronze and 26 percent from stone.

Sculptor Nguyen Xuan Tien, vice headmaster of the university, said at the seminar that the city had built many new streets, parks, urban areas, and entertainment areas downtown. They do not have decorative sculptures.

"A sculpture symposium is necessary to create modern works to make the city beautiful," said Tien.

At the seminar, the city's Culture and Sports Department said it would launch an international sculpture symposium to encourage local and international sculptors, especially artists from Southeast Asian countries, to submit their works.

Hua Ngoc Thuan, Vice Chairman of the city People's Committee, said: "The committee hopes that the sculptures reflect the city's development in fields of society, economy, education and culture and its integration with the world 40 years after Liberation."

The works are planned to be placed at Nguyen Hue walking street and Bach Dang wharf in District 1, the banks along Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal, Vo Van Kiet Boulevard, and destinations on the city's boat tour.

The department is in charge of making detailed plans, including time, space and activities, of the symposium.

According to Thuan, the city has sought sculptors for Nam Bo Khang Chien (The Resistance War of the South) placed on HCM City – Trung Luong Highway, and Thong Nhat (Reunification) on Hanoi Highway, and has found ways to restore and repair statues.

The city plans to host a symposium every two years to create a playground for both Vietnamese and foreign sculptors to exchange techniques and ideas.-VNA