At the art program, titled "Ho Dynasty Citadel - The Pride of Vietnam", held at the citadel in Thanh Hoa province following the ceremony to honor the historical and cultural value of the relic, organizers of the program covered the citadel’s South Gate with synthetic canvas for a LED lights performances. Moreover, since they couldn’t bring a pair of stone dragon statues in the citadel on stage, they created fake statues made of cardboard painted with a stone color.
The stage wasn’t the only area where fake objects were used, as the surrounding displays also included replicas. On the fields near the art program’s stage, organizers created a small lake of nylon canvas, then poured water and put plastic lotus flowers and leaves into the lake.
The cardboard dragons and plastic lotuses garnered disappointed reactions from visitors who had come for the beauty of the real ancient citadel.
Built in 1397, the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, located in Vinh Long and Vinh Tien communes, Vinh Loc District, was the capital of Vietnam from 1397 to 1407. The relic was a great work of architecture that featured four gates, facing south, north, east and west.
It consists of three sections: a bamboo hedge, a moat and a citadel wall, plus a palace complex with marble-paved roads connecting each palace.
After the UNESCO recognition was announced last year, experts expressed their concern over the difficulties inherent in restoring the relic. They said care must be taken to keep the relic’s original values, and restoration cannot be a reconstruction or fake in any way.
Last month a plan proposed by local authorities to reconstruct the Nam Giao Altar of the Ho Citadel for restoration met opposition from experts who said the relic should be preserved in its original architectural form.