Germany helps restore Hue imperial city's palace
The Hue Relics Conservation Centre is coordinating with the Leibniz Cultural Exchange Association of Germany in a project to restore unique frescos of An Dinh Palace in the Hue imperial city, central Thua Thien-Hue province.
The project has a cost of over 444,000 euros, including 355,000 euros provided by the German Government as non-refundable aid.
In the first two-year phase since 2003, six frescoes in the lobby of three-storey Khai Tuong Tower, the centrepiece of An Dinh Palace, were restored with the use of preservatives to halt environmental impact and restore the original fasade.
These 90 year-old frescos each measure 1.9x1.4m or 1.8x1m and have gold-plated frames made of wood, with images of modified apricot blossoms and lotuses elegantly carved on.
In the second phase in 2005-2007, the project has aimed to revive about 3,600 sq.m of frescos and decorative patterns on the walls of the palace. And as of Jan. 2007, seven major rooms of An Dinh Palace have been restored.
An Dinh Palace is one of the typical structures of Hue imperial city, built on an order of King Dong Khanh (1886-1888) on the northern bank of the An Cuu River right after his accession to the throne. Later, King Khai Dinh (1916-1925) had it transformed into a magnificent palace in an enclosure that covers about 2.5 ha and houses numerous architectural structures systematically planned.
The architecture and inner decoration of Khai Tuong Tower in particular and An Dinh Palace in general, came as an amalgamation of Western and Eastern cultures at the beginning of the 20th century.
An Dinh Palace is a combination of steel reinforced concrete of the West and the traditional wood, bricks and tiles of Vietnam.
Like many other architectural structures in Hue, after nearly 100 years of existence, An Dinh Palace has been badly affected by wars, harsh weather conditions, and repeated political upheavals, and as a result, it has been deteriorating.
As a result, frescoes are fading and distorted, many wall sections that used to be decorated with many sophisticated designs and patterns are now covered with lime washes and dust after such a long period of time.
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