Ancient houses belonging to families on Ly Son island in the central province of Quang Ngai preserve valuable evidence and documents on the national sovereignty of Hoang Sa archipelago. Hundreds of years have gone by and now the houses are in need of restoration.

The house of Duong Quang Dinh’s family in Tay village, An Hai commune is 150 years old.

Dinh’s family is living in the house and worshiping their ancestors, many of whom served in the fleet that patrolled Hoang Sa-Bac Hai ( North Sea ).

Dinh said he spends about 20 million VND each year on repairs and parts of the house have been damaged by time.

Vo Hien Dat is the only artisan on Ly Son island who can make boats modeled after those used by the Hoang Sa Fleet. After 80 years in the ancient house, Dat is tormented by its continual degradation. His house is also more than 150 years old.

He confided that his family will continue to restore the house because it bears the nation’s cultural identity and expressed hopes that the State will provide financial assistance to preserve the old house.

Ly Son has 24 ancient houses. Each is a miniature museum of evidence and documents that affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago. These documents have been preserved by Ly Son island families for hundreds of years.

Pham Thi Huong, Vice Chairwoman of the Ly Son district People’s Committee, said to preserve these ancient houses, the Ly Son district People’s Committee has proposed measures to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to restore them and encourage the owners to keep their architecture in tact.

The ancient houses on Ly Son island have been degraded by time. The local families need assistance from relevant agencies so that the houses and valuable Hoang Sa Fleet documents can be preserved.-VNA