Experts from the Institute of Science and Technology in collaboration with central Quang Nam province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will start emergency repairs on another of the world famous Cham towers, known as B3, in the My Son Sanctuary this week.

The tower in danger of collapsing is 5m away from a complex of towers B, C and D. It's the first tower that has been repaired in My Son, however other towers have been fully or partly restored over the years.

Director of the Management Centre for Relics and Tourist Landscapes, Phan Hong Cam, said that the Cham tower had started tilting towards the southwest four months ago."We found cracks on the entrance arch and discovered that the foundations on one side had sunk by eight degrees, calling for emergency repairs," he said.

"Experts and engineers from the institute and our experts have been discussing ways to fix the tower, and emergency repairs will start this week," Cam said, adding: "Dteel cages will be placed in the middle of the tower and steel supports on the walls. All materials have been approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism."

The move is only a temporary solution to save the tower from ending up a heap of rubble. The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will submit a long-term restoration programme for the tower next year.

The monuments of the My Son Sanctuary are the most important constructions of the My Son civilization. The tower temples have a variety of architectural designs symbolizing the greatness and purity of Mount Meru , the mythical sacred mountain home of Hindu gods at the center of the universe, now symbolically reproduced on Earth in the mountainous homeland of the Cham people.

They are constructed in fired brick with stone pillars and decorated with sandstone bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. Their technological sophistication is evidence of Cham engineering skills while the elaborate iconography and symbolism of the tower-temples give insight into the content and evolution of Cham religious and political thought.

The My Son Sanctuary is a remarkable architectural ensemble that developed over a period of ten centuries. It presents a vivid picture of spiritual and political life in an important phase of the history of South-East Asia .

Conservation of the My Son monuments began in the early part of the 20th century soon after their discovery in modern times by French archaeologists. During World War II, the first Indochina War and, especially, during the second Indochina War, many tower temples were damaged. However, conservation work has been carried out and the remaining tower temples have been maintained and are well-preserved.

The site is at risk from severe climatic conditions such as flooding and high humidity, though stream widening and clearance of surrounding vegetation have minimized these impacts. There remains an enduring issue of the possible presence of unidentified, unexploded ordnance within the boundaries of the property’s buffer zone, which has affected the archaeological research of newly-discovered areas, restoration of eight monumental areas, as well as site presentation for visitors.-VNA