Thứ Năm, 14 tháng 7, 2016

Villa demolition sparks debate on heritage conservation

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee has asked relevant agencies to investigate the case in which a French villa demolition triggers heritage management crisis.
A century-old French villa on Ho Chi Minh City’s No Trang Long Street was recently demolished provoking a debate about how to preserve the city’s crumbling architectural heritage.
The villa on No Trang Long Street has been partly demolished
Le Thanh Cong bought the villa in 1990. However, due to lack of proper preservation, the villa deteriorated quickly with many parts at risk of collapsing and was put on sale 10 months ago. On June 23, the new owner started dismantling the villa.
Ward 11’s People's Committee halted their work on June 26 by the request of the Department of Planning and Architecture and the city’s Conservation Council. A representative from the Department of Planning and Architecture said the villa was part of the city’s cultural heritage so they owner needed to ask for a permit to demolish or replace the building new construction from the city people's committee.
Another villa on Ly Tu Trong Street was also demolished after being transferred through four owners.
The villas are preserved if they are museums or state-owned houses. Private properties are often not taken care of carefully. The authorities currently do not have management regulations or support policies to help owners preserve their houses. Because of cumbersome administrative procedures and huge costs to renovate the villas, many people just abandon them.
The city authorities asked HCM City Institute for Development Studies quickly complete criteria for evaluation and classification of the old villas and the management regulations over constructions on lands of unclassified villas.
Vice chairman of HCM City People's Committee Le Van Khoa also asked the Department of Transport and district authorities to tighten management, saying that agency leaders must take responsibilities for illegally demolished villas.

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