Chau Huong Vien relic to be restored in the near future
Facing the ruins of Chau Huong Vien, Hue folk singers wish that this relic would soon be restored and become the venue to perform Hue Singing (Ca Hue) similar to the past.

On the occasion of the 60th death anniversary of the poet Ung Binh Thuc Gia Thi in April, the artisans and artists of the Chamber Hue Singing Club organized a ceremony in memory of the poet at Chau Huong Vien, his private residence, at 355 Nguyen Sinh Cung Street, Hue City. The songs "Phu Luc", "Co Ban", "Tuong Tu Khuc"… resounded movingly in the abandoned house.

Just like 2 years ago on the death anniversary of the poet Ung Binh Thuc Gia Thi, the artists could not help but feel sorrowful for the desolation and ruin of Chau Huong Vien, which was originally the meeting venue of "Huong Binh Poetry Club”.

The old venue is no longer an ancient house in the middle of a large garden, but only a dilapidated house with three compartments, two wings, and an adjacent abandoned kitchen. The rear roof is completely collapsed; the structure of the house is infested with termites and is in danger of collapse. Weeds grow inside the house. There is nothing left but a worship altar set up temporarily to place the photo of the famous Ung Binh.

The poet Vo Que, Chairman of Hue Singing Club, sadly said: "Looking at the house that used to be the meeting place to recite poems, play music and sing songs of poetry lovers, now degraded and abandoned, is really heartbreaking. Although Chau Huong Vien has been recognized as a provincial relic, it is still in ruins. We are very anxious for the relic to be restored soon. When the authorities initiate the restoration, we will call on the community to contribute to the restoration of a heritage closely associated with Hue Singing."

Chau Huong Vien is a special relic, associated with the famous person of the ancient land, the poet Ung Binh Thuc Gia Thi. He made great contributions to the development of Hue Singing in the early twentieth century. Despite being a provincial relic which has not been recognized for a long time, this is a relic that needs to be prioritized for conservation, restoration and promotion of its value.

Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports said: “Currently, the preparation for the project of restoring and preserving Chau Huong Vien relic is coordinated by the Department of Culture and Sports and the consulting unit. With careful preparation, the investment procedures have been completed. Therefore, we hope the Provincial People's Committee will pay attention and allocate budget so that the restoration project can be implemented in 2021. We clearly understand the aspirations of the artists in Hue for Mr. Ung Binh Thuc Gia Thi and Chau Huong Vien relic, so we are making more efforts to promote the project of restoring, preserving and promoting the value of this relic."

Regarding Chau Huong Vien, in November 2020, the Provincial People's Council issued a resolution approving the investment of the project to preserve and renovate Ung Binh relic at Chau Huong Vien in order to preserve and promote its values. The relic will be disassembled, treated for termites, repaired, embellished and restored. The surrounding areas will also be renovated and upgraded, such as: the garden, the water supply and drainage system and the lighting system... The total project investment is approximated at roughly 10 billion VND.

Mr. Phan Quoc Son, Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, said that in order to preserve the monument and to serve the exploitation of cultural and artistic activities in Chau Huong Vien, the Department of Planning and Investment cooperated with the Department of Culture and Sports to advise the Provincial People's Committee to invest in renovating and embellishing the relic in accordance with the provisions of the Heritage Law.

Currently, the Department of Planning and Investment is compiling the list of construction works to be carried out for the period 2021-2025 to submit to the Provincial People's Council for approval. The Department continues to advise the Provincial People's Committee to allow the preparation work for investment. It is expected that capital will be allocated to implement the project in the near future.

According to Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, the restoration of Chau Huong Vien will be an important mark in the work of preserving and promoting traditional cultural heritages of Hue ancient capital in general and the heritage of Hue Singing in particular. As part of the project of the Department of Culture and Sports to promote Hue Singing into a unique cultural and tourist product, it is hoped that Chau Huong Vien will turn into the key venue to protect, preserve, honor and promote the value of Hue Singing.

Story and photo: Minh Hien
Hue News
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