Two World Heritage sites celebrate 20 years of UNESCO recognition

September 10, 2019 | 15:51
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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has praised the central province of Quang Nam for its efforts to preserve the world heritage sites of Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary in the 20 years since their recognition by the UNESCO.
two world heritage sites celebrate 20 years of unesco recognition
The My Son Sanctuary that was recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage in 1999. (Photo: VNA)

The PM was speaking at a ceremony in My Son Sanctuary to celebrate the 20th anniversary of UNESCO’s recognition of Hoi An and My Son as World Heritage sites in 1999.

The PM said the two heritage sites, along with the world biosphere reserve site of the Cham Islands in the province, are typical samples of the heritage preservation and biodiversity conservation in Vietnam and the world.

He noted that Quang Nam is a rare locality in Vietnam obtaining two world heritages and a world biosphere reserve site.

The PM also urged state agencies and Quang Nam to boost sustainable development of the world heritage sites, while preserving the natural environment and enhancing plastic waste management.

Phuc also expressed his respect for the contribution of the late Polish archaeologist and architect Kazimierz Kwiatkowski, known as ‘Kazik’, and international organisations as well as the governments of Italy, India and Poland in the preservation of the world heritage sites over the past 20 years.

Situated in a peaceful valley surrounded by mountains, the My Son Sanctuary has been well preserved since it was built thousands of years ago during the prosperous development of the Champa Kingdom between the 4th and 13th centuries. The ruins are now a popular destination because of their cultural relevance and architectural features.

The ancient town of Hoi An still preserves its cultural values as a busy trading port dating back 400 years.

The Cham Islands-Hoi An World Biosphere Reserve, which covers over 33,000ha including Hoi An, has 1,500ha of tropical forests and 6,700ha of sea featuring a wide range of fauna and flora.

Speaking at the ceremony, a representative of UNESCO, Michael Croft, highlighted that President Ho Chi Minh issue Decree 65 on November 23, 1945, which called for the immediate protection of cultural and historic relics, demonstrating that the President understood the importance of the country’s cultural identity to the movement for independence and freedom.

“The Government and the Vietnamese people have continued to respect his vision and the result of their efforts, is what celebrate today. The beautiful Sanctuary of My Son, which once lay in ruin, has become one of the best examples in monument restoration in Southeast Asia, providing us a fascinating glimpse into the political and cultural history of the region. And we find this same sense of shared history expressed in the international collaboration to restore the site, in the close cooperation between Vietnam and friendly countries like France, India, Italy and Poland and many other partners. UNESCO is proud to have been part of this process, and highlight it as best practice,” Croft said.

Quang Nam hosted 6.5 million tourists, of which Hoi An was a favourite destination of 5 million visitors, last year.


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