Hanoi Seeks Increased French Aid for Cultural and Historical Preservation

In 1989, Hanoi and the Ile-de-France Region of France established the first local-to-local cooperation between Vietnam and France by signing their first partnership agreement.

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The authorities of Hanoi are eager to receive additional assistance from their French partners in the conservation of cultural heritage, Do Dinh Hong, the director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, announced on April 14th.

The old French mansion on the 49th of Tran Hung Dao Street in Hoan Kiem District is under renovation work. Photo: The Hanoi Times

Hong suggested that the French localities should further promote the people and values of Hanoi to their constituents, while also introducing them to the potential for economic cooperation and cultural development in Vietnam’s vibrant capital city. By doing so, this could create a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas, resources, and experiences that could benefit both nations.

The Hanoi official also suggested that the French authorities collaborate in sharing experiences, holding exhibitions, and attending meetings to bolster the growth of creative spaces in both France and Hanoi.

Hong also urged the two sides to enhance collaboration in education and training, and research and development, and embrace digital solutions in the cultural industry. He expressed his hope that the two sides would make joint efforts to build a platform for cultural creativity and exchange.

In regard to local tourism sites such as the Hanoi Museum, the Hoa Lo Prison relic, and creative spaces, the culture director warmly welcomed the provision of materials and support from French partners to enrich the content and enhance the visitor experience. By doing so, they will be able to provide a more comprehensive and enjoyable experience for visitors.

In his part, Toulouse Vice Mayor Jean-Claude Dardelet expressed that the French city would remain steadfast in its support of Hanoi to protect heritages and cultural characteristics, thus bolstering the relationship between the two nations and promoting sustainable progress for the populace.

He believed that Vietnam and France shared alike visions and thoughts on heritage conservation and sustainable travel, with expectations that the cultural industry would improve living standards for the people and give a boost to both economies.

Under the partnerships with French localities, Hanoi has made remarkable strides in the last 34 years towards the preservation of cultures and heritages, Hong declared at a workshop during the 12th Vietnam-France Decentralization Cooperation Conference.

Hanoi established its first partnership agreement with the Ile-de-France Region in 1989, marking the inaugural local-to-local cooperation between Vietnam and France. This groundbreaking agreement set the tone for future collaborations between the two nations.

When Hanoi first initiated the plan to get the Thang Long Imperial Citadel approved as a World Heritage Site, the government of the Ile-de-France Region sent specialists to assist the city with the development of a comprehensive heritage management plan, the design of ticket posts, and the construction of information counters to serve the influx of visitors.

The workshop discussed the preservation of heritages and cultural traits in Hanoi on April 14. Photo: Nam Nguyen

The French locality also provided feedback on Hanoi’s development plan for the Co Loa Citadel, and organized training for officials of the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Preservation Center and the Management Unit of the Duong Lam Ancient Village. This training aimed to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively preserve and promote the local cultural heritage.

Other projects involving the authorities of the Île-de-France Region include the preservation of the Temple of Literature, the renovation of the old mansion on the 49th Tran Hung Dao Street, and the showcasing of Hanoi photos in Paris.

In 1996, Hanoi and Toulouse agreed to collaborate in an effort to preserve their shared heritage. Through various initiatives, they have achieved remarkable success; for instance, they have restored a traditional house located at 87th Ma May Street and preserved the Dong Lac Village Temple.

Preserving activities have been vastly expanded to encompass other fields, thanks to the guidance and support of the French authorities, such as the French Embassy in Vietnam and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since 2017, French specialists have been working with their Vietnamese counterparts to create brand kits for the Hanoi Museum, Hoa Lo Prison relic, and the Temple of Literature. Moreover, they have also initiated programs to facilitate the exchange of arts and cultures between the two nations.

In October 2019, Hanoi joined UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, expanding its horizons and gaining access to the assistance of fellow member cities from France. This has enabled the capital city to implement its initiatives and commitments more effectively.