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New Proposals Suggest Repairing or Replacing Nam Dinh Cathedral With Replica

Back in May, a renovation plan to replace Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province with a newly built replica angered the public.

Following the decision, 20 architects and preservationists signed a petition to postpone the plan and asked for further examination from the National Cultural Heritage Council. The renovation was eventually delayed.

Recently, the Relics Preservation Institute proposed two new renovation directions for the 134-year-old cathedral, VnExpress reports. The first option is to keep the structure of the building intact and replace parts that need repairing. This requires taking off the roof of the cathedral.

According to Hoang Dao Cuong, an architect and director of the Relics Preservation Institute, the first solution is not sustainable and too costly, since it requires yearly restoration. To remedy this issue, the institute proposes a second option, which suggests that the cathedral, including its foundation, be taken down to pave way for a new structure to be built based on the original design.

The design of the patterns, doors, dome, roof and tiles will be kept in the replica. Metal ornaments, wood poles, a graveyard of past saints, the Thanh Thai stele and two copper bells will be kept as is.

Responding to opinions that suggest building a new cathedral for church-goers and preserving Bui Chu, the institute said that such a solution is a waste of resources and unrealistic to Vietnam's current sociocultural landscape.

In an earlier article, VnExpress reported many locals often feel afraid when going inside the cathedral because they fear that materials might fall down and hurt someone, which is the reason why the diocese decided to renovate Bui Chu in the first place.

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