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Efforts to unify management of Thăng Long Imperial City accelerated



The People’s Committee of Hà Nội is accelerating the unification of the management of Thăng Long Imperial Citadel. Photo

HÀ NỘI — The People’s Committee of Hà Nội is accelerating the unification of the management of Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, one of Việt Nam’s eight commitments to UNESCO.

Though Thăng Long Imperial Citadel was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, the city has yet to fulfil the commitment to unify the management of the site.

Both management organisations and scientists have expressed their hopes to unify the management of the site to better preserve it.

Unified management

Thăng Long Imperial Citadel covers a total area of 18,353ha and the site is under the ownership of the city of Hà Nội, the Ministry of National Defence and two families who made significant contributions to the national revolutions.

According to the Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre, the city manages 16,654ha now, 91 per cent of the total heritage area.

The remaining area, possessed by sub-units of the Ministry of National Defence, including the Vietnam Military History Museum and a petrol station on nearby Nguyễn Tri Phương Street, and two families who made significant contributions to the national revolutions.

According to an agreement between the Party Committee of Hà Nội and the Central Military Commission, the Vietnam Military History Museum will be relocated and the site will be handed over to the city in 2022.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc did not agree with the proposal of retaining the petrol station on Nguyễn Tri Phương Street of the defence ministry.

At the same time, the People’s Committee of Ba Đình District and the Department of Construction of Hà Nội are implementing a plan to relocate and compensate two families who manage 0.15ha of the heritage site. They have committed to handing over the land in the next quarter two of this year.

Associate Professor, Dr Tống Trung Tín, Chairman of the Vietnam Archeology Association, said the top concern of UNESCO, authorities and scientists about Thăng Long Imperial Citadel is its unified management.

According to him, Hà Nội has made great efforts in implementing the commitment to UNESCO and has acquired most of the area of the heritage site over the years.

Tín suggested the city work to speed up the unified management on the rest of the area that has not yet been acquired.

Hà Nội leaders have pledged that the city will seriously implement the Government’s commitment to UNESCO on the unification of the Thăng Long Imperial Citadel.

The city will work with the Ministry of National Defence to accelerate the construction of a new Vietnam Military History Museum in Nam Từ Liêm District to take over its former location for the heritage site.

Unified management of relics

The statuette of a woman that dates back to the 17th century. It is one of millions of artefacts excavated within Thăng Long Imperial Citadel since 2002. Photo

The archaeological excavations of Thăng Long Imperial Citadel since 2002 have unearthed millions of relics of various types from ceramics, chinaware, to metal objects.

On December 4 last year, the People’s Committee of Hà Nội and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the plan for the handover of all the remaining relics from 2020 to 2025.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoàng Đạo Cương suggested the items should be handed over as soon as possible.

According to him, although this process has been done for a long time, it is impossible to preserve and display the relics as long as they have not been fully handed over.

The relics are classified into many types, so the receiving and managing unit must evaluate and classify them before building the project for their archaeological display.

Professor, Ph.D Nguyễn Quang Ngọc, Director of Centre for Hanoi Studies and Capital Development said the unified management of Thăng Long Citadel heritage has taken too long and related agencies need to speed up the progress.

He also said that the handover and reception of relics must comply with the Law on Cultural Heritage.



2030 Businesspeople Club delivers necessities to people in quarantined areas



Members of the 2030 Businesspeople Club transport relief to a quarantined area in HCMC – PHOTOS: LE VU

HCMC – Through the “Food for Saigon during Social Distancing” program, the 2030 Businesspeople Club, a member of the Saigon Times Club, handed over 40 tons of vegetables, fruits, rice and other necessities to people living in areas under lockdown or quarantine in HCMC on August 3 and 4.

The event was part of the Saigon Times – Great Circle 2021 series, an initiative of the Saigon Times Group, that is aimed at supporting people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Dinh Tu, vice chairman of the 2030 Businesspeople Club, said through the program, the club expects to mobilize 8,000 gift sets for disadvantaged people across 20 districts of the city.

Up to now, the club has delivered 4,000 gift sets, each comprising 5 kilograms of vegetables and fruits and 5 kilograms of rice, to needy people in 10 districts. The club has also provided eggs, instant noodles and other necessities to poor households in the city.

Each gift set comprises vegetables, fruits, rice and other necessities

During 30 days of the “Food for Saigon during Social Distancing” program, the 2030 Business Club expects to give some 150 tons of vegetables and fruits as well as essentials to people whose livelihoods are severely affected by Covid-19 in HCMC and the neighboring provinces.

The Saigon Times Group launched the “Saigon Times – Great Circle 2021” program with the theme, “Join hands to fight off the pandemic”, on June 2. The program receives donations from organizations and individuals and then distributes them to the needy in HCMC and other provinces.

Donations for the program can be sent to:

Tap chi Kinh te Sai Gon

Bank account number: 1007 1485 1003318

Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) – Hoa Binh Branch – HCMC

Transaction content: Name – UnghoSaigon Times – NVTL – Donghanhchongdich

To participate in the program, please contact:

Huynh Huong (Phone number: 0913118711)

Or Huy Han (Phone number: 0902696617)



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Obituary: Veteran painter Đỗ Quang Em dies



Veteran painter Đỗ Quang Em, a leading artist of the South’s fine arts, died at home on Tuesday in HCM City. He was 79. Photo courtesy of the artist’s family

HCM CITY — Veteran painter Đỗ Quang Em, a leading artist of the South’s fine arts, died at home on Tuesday in HCM City. He was 79.

His funeral took place on Thursday in HCM City. 

Chairman of Việt Nam Fine Arts Association Lương Xuân Đoàn told Tuổi Trẻ newspaper: “Đỗ Quang Em was one of the four cornerstones of the fine arts world that evolved in pre-1975 Sài Gòn.” 

Đỗ Quang Em was born in Ninh Thuận Province in 1942. He studied photography from his father, owner of a small photographic studio when he was a child. 

He was sent to study at the Gia Định College of Fine Arts in Sài Gòn (now the HCM City University of Fine Arts). 

In 1965, he became involved in painting after graduating from college. His work earned recognition from art lovers and critics. 

In 1973-74, he worked as a lecturer at Gia Định College of Fine Arts. 

Đỗ Quang Em was part of a family of three generations of artists and trained himself to be a master of light in his paintings.

An oil painting called Bùa Hộ Mệnh (Amulet) was released in 2000 by late painter Đỗ Quang Em who used hyperrealism, a type of drawing technique, to create his art. Photo courtesy of the artist’s family

Em’s art focused on the use of strong contrasts between light and dark. 

Because of his love for photography, Em chose to paint realistic items but pushed his style further into the realm of hyperrealism. The technique, which takes a lot of time and skill, looks as real as a photograph.

“Em was professional in his use of this technique. The use of light and shadow helped the painter build up texture and detail,” said art critic Nguyên Hưng. 

Hyperrealism was an art movement and style popular in the United States and Europe in the 1970s with Carole Feuerman being the forerunner along with Duane Hanson and John De. 

Founded on the aesthetic principles of photography and photorealism, the artists often worked to create paintings that resembled photographs.

Hyperrealists took ordinary everyday objects and used them as a means to convey more subdued emotions in their paintings. They presented these objects as living and tangible, painted in meticulous detail to the point that they created an illusion of reality far from the original photo.

Hyperrealists often add subtle, pictorial details to create the illusion of a reality which doesn’t exist often conveying the emotional, social, cultural and even political messages of the artiste.

Đỗ Quang Em’s works feature a range of topics and objects, from people to animals and still life. Many of his paintings portray his wife and daughters. 

He also loved to draw cups, glasses, oil lamps and origami figures. 

A paiting called Chân Dung Vợ Hoạ Sĩ (Portrait of Artist’s Wife), released in 1975 by late painter Đỗ Quang Em. Photo courtesy of the artist’s family

He organised several solo and group exhibitions in HCM City, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

His works have been displayed and collected by Vietnamnese and foreign galleries and collectors, including the HCM City Musuem of Fine Arts. 

Chân dung vợ họa sỹ (Portrait of Artist’ Wife), 1975. Đỗ Quang Em

 Two of his famous paintings are Tôi và Vợ Tôi (My Wife and I) and Ấm và Tách Trà (A Teapot and Cups, which were auctioned for US$70,000 and $50,000 in Hong Kong in 1994-95.  

His paintings in the 1990s sold for $60,000-70,000 in the foreign market. —


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U.S. pledges US$4.5 million to help Vietnam fight Covid-19



Representatives of the U.S. side work with the Ministry of Health. The United States has agreed to provide Vietnam with an aid package worth US$4.5 million to fight the pandemic – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – The United States has agreed to provide Vietnam with an aid package worth US$4.5 million to intensify the latter’s Covid-19 vaccination program and improve the capacity of its healthcare system.

A representative of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) pledged the relief aid at a recent meeting with Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, the Ministry of Health said on August 4.

In early September, 77 deep freezers donated by the United States for vaccine storage are set to arrive in Vietnam. The U.S. Secretary of Defense had announced this donation during his visit to Vietnam in late July.

Due to the current trajectory of the pandemic, which is piling pressure on the country’s healthcare system, the Ministry of Health is setting up several intensive care units in HCMC and some southern provinces.

The ministry also proposed the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID provide Vietnam with ventilators, oxygen tanks and medical equipment for Covid-19 treatment to minimize the death rate.

Minister Long also expected the U.S. government to continue supporting Vietnam in the anti-virus fight and giving the country priority in the access to vaccines, the local media reported.

To fight the pandemic effectively, Vietnam is trying to gain access to more doses of Covid-19 vaccines, said Minister Long, adding that in the fourth quarter of the year, some 47 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine would arrive in Vietnam.


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