The Hue Monument Conservation Centre is exhibiting posters that tell the stories of Hue’s royal monuments from the end of feudal era to the present. The process of restoration lasted for 30 years and it was the tireless effort of Hue. The exhibition is entitled “Hue Monuments: Memories and the Present.” The posters are being exhibited in the Imperial Palace’s long corridor for free to visitors.
The photographic posters depict the monuments at various stages in history, including the 142-year period under the reign of the country last’s Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), bombardment during two wars, human destruction in the postwar era and, finally, their recognition as a world heritage site.
In each poster, a photo of a monument is depicted with captions telling the story of the monument through its various stages. According to the centre, the exhibition aims to inform locals and visitors about the former capital city’s past, Hue’s latest history and the achievements of conservation by local authorities, local residents and foreign supporters as well.
After 1975, the relics of Hue carried on them many wounds of war, especially the Tet Offensive 1968. During this time, many architectural works were completely destroyed and many others were in dilapidated conditions and they could collapse at any time.
In the tough time after the country’s reunification, the state of disrepair of Hue relics continued to be in alarm conditions. Also, in 1953, 1971, 1984 and 1999, Hue experienced severe storms and floods, which severely damaged monuments.
In 1981, the call for rescuing Hue relics was released. With the effort of the central and local government and the assistance of the international community, Hue monuments have gradually been rescued and revived and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. The government also approved a conservation project from 1995 to 2010 (and then be extended until 2020) to guide the work of conservation here.
Some posters displayed at the exhibition: “Hue Monuments: Memories and the Present”:
Phu Van Lau, built in 1819 under King Gia Long and used as a place to list the important edicts of the king and the court, or the results of the examinations held by the court. This place was renovated four times in 1905 (after the huge storm in 1904), 1922, 1974 and 1994.
However, there are architectures that can hardly be restored by the same because they were completely destroyed by war, for example Kien Trung palace (photo) which was built in 1921 under King Khai Dinh. This is a 2 storey building in European style. In 1947, the palace was destroyed by war.
Hien Nhon Gate was built in 1805 under King Gia Long. In 1833 in the reign of King Minh Mang, it was decorated by porcelain pieces. It was restored again under King Khai Dinh. The gate was only for mandarins and men. In 1968 the gate was completely destroyed.