Villa demolition sparks debate on heritage conservation
Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee has asked relevant agencies to
investigate the case in which a French villa demolition triggers heritage
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
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.
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.
villa on Ly Tu Trong Street was also demolished after being transferred
through four owners.
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.
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.
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.