The Archaeology Institute of America reports that “a section of retaining wall that protects Vietnam’s Thang Long Royal Citadel has collapsed, flooding the UNESCO World Heritage site with muddy water."
The citadel was created by the Ly Viet Dynasty in the 11th century in recognition of the Dai Viet’s independence from Chinese domination. It is a site of cultural as well as political significance, as it was the epicenter of the region’s political power for nearly 13 consecutive centuries. The brick citadel surrounded the Forbidden City.
Although the Archaeology Institute has also asked the National Assembly House Project management board to make attempts to leave the landmark untouched, the situation has not been markedly improved.
According to Vietnamnet, a state-run English news site, the director project management board, Nguyen Tien Thanh, said that such incidents are unavoidable despite the care they were taking.
Vietnam’s Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Hoang Yuan Anh, said on April 7 that the ministry supports Hanoi to preserve the relic, according to Vietnamnet.
Construction of the hall began in October 2009 and is scheduled to finish next year. It will be five-floor edifice including a three-story underground parking garage.
The citadel was declared a national relic of special importance in 2009. It is also protected by Vietnam’s Law on Cultural Heritage (2001) and other top level plans for managing the property.