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Archeological excavation to be carried out at Palace of Nguyen dynasty

June 02, 2021 | 21:33

The Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments announced on June 1 that the Thai Hoa Palace, where the golden throne of the 13 Nguyen dynasty emperors is placed, will undergo excavation to assess its state before restoration.

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The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has allowed the Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments to carry out archeological excavation at the Thai Hoa Palace.

The Center is responsible for managing Hue Monuments Complex, Nhã nhạc (Hue Court Music)- the Representative Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and the attached historical landscape.

The excavation will provide data for the scientific profile used as the basis for the restoration of the Thai Hoa Palace relics.

The excavation will last for 15 days starting June 5 until June 20, at the two lean-tos of the Thai Hoa Palace, covering an area of 66 square meters.

The excavation will be led by Le Thi An Hoa, head of the Department of Scientific Research under the Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments.

Archeological excavation to be carried out at Palace of Nguyen dynasty
Photo: A part of Thai Hoa Palace / Dantri

The lean-tos of the Thai Hoa Palace will be excavated to assess their current conditions, providing scientific data to identify solutions for restoring Hue’s Royal Palace.

The Ministry recommended the Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments to protect the Palace’s stratigraphy (the soil layers of archeological deposits) and raise public awareness about protecting the cultural heritage during the excavation period.

The Ministry ordered that the artifacts collected must be kept temporarily at the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum for preservation.

The Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments must report to the Ministry the solutions to protect and promote the values of these artifacts, based on the assessment of their conditions.

Thai Hoa Palace was built in 1805 during the reign of King Gia Long, the first emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. Adopting the style of “double houses built on one foundation” (trùng thiềm điệp ốc), it was considered the pinnacle of imperial architecture under the last royal family of Vietnam.

Thai Hoa Palace was the venue for important ceremonies such as the Coronation ceremony, the royal Birthday Anniversary, official meetings with ambassadors, and the Grand Audience ceremony.

Importantly, it housed the Golden Throne of the 13 rulers of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Archeological excavation to be carried out at Palace of Nguyen dynasty
Photo: Mandarins knelt before the Emperor during the Grand Audience Ceremony in 1926 / The Center for Conservation of Hue Monuments

Over the past 200 years, the Palace’s conditions have deteriorated seriously. Some wooden components have been rotted. Recently, a part of the Palace’s right tile roof was damaged during the Noul storm in 2020.

Archeological excavation to be carried out at Palace of Nguyen dynasty
Photo: Situating at the middle of Thai Hoa Palace is the Golden Throne of the 13 rulers of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last dynasty of Vietnam (1802 – 1945) / Dantri

Thai Hoa Palace is one of the oldest, most important landmarks of Hue Imperial City. The proposal for renovating the Palace, budgeted at VND150 billion (US$6.5 million), has been approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The renovation project will dismount and restore deteriorated roofs, assess the current state of and restore the red lacquered wooden components, reinforce the foundation, walls, and handrails, and replace the tiled walkways.

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