Phan Thanh Hai, deputy head of the Hue Old Capital Preservation Center, told Tuoitre on Monday that the Central Bank of Vietnam had agreed to sponsor its project to give the main gate of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site a total facelift.
Built in 1833 under the rule of the Nguyen Dynasty’s Minh Mang Emperor, it was used by the sovereign as an observation point for troop movements and ceremonies.
The gate is divided into two levels: the stone and brick fortress-like base structure, and the more elaborate, palace-like upper level.
While the ground level has five entrances, of which the centre one was always reserved for the monarch's use, the upper level consists of a grand pavilion, called the Lau Ngu Phung (Five-Phoenix Pavilion).
The pavilion is currently in very bad shape, and has to be reinforced with additional wooden columns.
Ngo Mon managed to survive the large-scale destruction during the Vietnamese War from 1950s-1970s, and has gone through several restorations, the most recent of which was in 1991-1992, under a US$ 100,000 project funded by the Japanese government, yet its degradation has only worsened recently.