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SOS Rhino : In the News : Vietnam seeks UNESCO recognition for World Heritage Sites

Vietnam seeks UNESCO recognition for World Heritage Sites

  The Ministry of Culture and Information is preparing to seek UNESCO recognition of four more natural relics as World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The nominees include the ancient royal capital of Thang Long in Hanoi; the Cat Tien National Park including the Cat Tien archeological site in Dong Nai and Lam Dong provinces; the Ho Dynasty Citadel relics and Con Moong Cave, both in the northern Thanh Hoa province.

Thang Long was discovered early 2003 during excavations to rebuild the Ba Dinh Complex, the seat of Vietnam’s legislature.

Subsequently, archeologists discovered layers of different structures built on top of each other besides millions of artifacts dating back up to the 7th century.

Spread over nearly 75,000 hectares, Cat Tien National Park has an untouched and diverse ecosystem and is home to many rare creatures and plants listed in the Red Book of endangered species.

It received international attention when the Java rhinoceros, thought to be extinct, resurfaced in 1999.

The Ho Dynasty Citadel was built in 1397 under the reign of King Ho Quy Ly when it was named Tay Do (Capital of the West).

The square citadel was built on a vast, flat piece of land. It was the only citadel in Vietnam to be built with block granite, about 5m high and 3m thick, and truly depicts the creativity and industriousness of the Vietnamese seven centuries ago.

Con Moong cave was discovered in 1975 and excavated in 1976. Archeologists found domestic tools and other traces dating back to before the New Stone Age which began around 8,000 BC.

They also found fossils of sea turtles dating back 200-300 million years.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has so far recognized five World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites in Vietnam.

These are the former imperial capital Hue in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Hoi An town and the My Son religious towers in Quang Nam, Phong Nha-Ke Bang Natural Reserve in Quang Binh, and Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh.

The UN agency has already proclaimed Hue’s royal court music, nha nhac, and the gongs of Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The Ministry of Culture and Information is also preparing to apply for UNESCO’s recognition of quan ho, a traditional music form, as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Source: Thanh Nien, VNA, VOV, Nhan Dan – Translated by Thu Thuy

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