After more than 20 years since the ancient Vietnamese capital of Hue was recognised as a world cultural heritage site, it has been appraised by UNESCO officials and international organisations as a good example of heritage conservation.

The Hue ancient capital complex in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue was the national capital from 1802 to 1945 under the Nguyen dynasty.

The success of the August Revolution in 1945 put an end to the 143-year reign of this dynasty. Fierce fighting, notably in 1947 and 1968, and two severe floods in 1953 and 1971 subsequently ruined many buildings in the complex.

In 1982, a Hue-UNESCO working group was established to take charge of the restoration of the relic site and in 1993 the complex became the first in Vietnam to be recognised as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Since then, Hue city has exerted every effort to preserve the heritage’s value. The Hue Relic Conservation Centre has coordinated with provincial departments and offices to conserve the site, particularly through a project that lasted from 1996 to 2010.

Thanks to the project, conservation work has been carried out systematically, restoring relic sites, intensifying international cooperation and applying scientific advancement.

During 1996-2013, 800 billion VND was spent on restoring 100 architectural buildings. Most recently, a project on the entire restoration of the complex worth nearly 1.3 trillion VND has been implemented, opening up the promise of the comprehensive recovery of the whole site

The work has received praise from UNESCO and other international organisations. However, the locality is facing a lot of challenges, including the impacts of environmental pollution and climate change. The resettlement of people living around the complex is also concerning local authorities. At present, there remain over 3,000 households living within the complex planning area.-VNA