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Hanoi to Spend $2.6m Conserving Co Loa Historic Complex

The project includes the central Co Loa Citadel along with surrounding constructions in Co Loa, Duc Tu, Viet Hung and Uy No communes of Dong Anh District.

The VND60 billion (US$2.58 million) project will run from 2018-2020, reports Dan Tri. The Thang Long–Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center will oversee the project while coordinating with relevant agencies during excavations and relic displays.

The center will also work with local departments of tourism, culture, and education to produce more tours and visitor programs. The plans also include creating an exhibition center showcasing the value and history of the site.

Built around 257 BCE, Co Loa Citadel is the oldest of its kind in Vietnam. Nine layers of walls once spiraled around its center, providing protection from invaders. Only three layers remain today.

“If envisioned and invested wisely, Co Loa historical site will become one of Hanoi’s top tourist attractions. It already has a compelling history with tales of humanity and a natural landscape. But this potential is being consumed by urbanization and people urgently looking to change their lives,” Professor Nguyen Van Huy told The Thao Van Hoa in Vietnamese.

For the last 50 years, the ancient site has suffered from inefficient boundary identification. Parts of the moat have been either landfilled to build roads and houses or overtaken by wild plants. Locals have lived and worked beside the site for generations, cultivating crops on top of the central walls and raising fish in the moat.

The outer and middle walls, despite retaining their circular shape, have lost more than half their height in many parts. The surrounding constructions, despite their archaeological value, are at risk of being removed for human settlement. Small-scale businesses clutter around famous locations within the site, blocking them from view.

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