On the morning of 23 November 2020, Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, the Hà Nội People’s Committee and Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre organized the ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Thăng Long Imperial Citadel’s Inscription on UNESCO World Heritage List.
In attendance at the ceremony were Politburo Member, Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee Vương Đình Huệ; Former Politburo Member, former Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee Phạm Quang Nghị; Member of the Central Party Committee, Deputy Minister of National Defense, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, Lieutenant General Nguyễn Tân Cương; Member of the Party Central Committee, Deputy Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee, Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh; Member of the Central Party Committee, Standing Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the 16th term Ngô Thị Thanh Hằng.
Also present at the event were Standing Deputy Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee Nguyễn Thị Tuyến; Deputy Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee Nguyễn Văn Phong; members of the Standing Committee of the Hà Nội Party Committee, the Standing Committee of the People’s Council, the People’s Committee, the Vietnam Fatherland Front of Hà Nội; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic in Vietnam Nicolas Warnery; Head and Representative of UNESCO Office in Vietnam Michael Croft and representatives of ministries, central agencies and Hà Nội.
At the celebration, the delegates took part in the incense offering ceremony, enjoyed the festival drums and an epic re-enacting the historical event in 1010, when King Lý Công Uẩn moved the capital from Hoa Lư to Thăng Long, opening up the Lý Dynasty and a chapter of prosperity in the history of Thăng Long capital city across a thousand years.
At 8:30 p.m. July 31, 2010 local time in Brazil (ie 6:30 a.m. August 1, 2010 Vietnam time), the UNESCO World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution inscribing the Central Sector of The Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long – Hà Nội on the World Heritage List, exactly 1000 years after King Lý Công Uẩn established the capital in Thăng Long. The outstanding universal values of the heritage site are recognized based on three most salient features: longevity of culture and history over 13 centuries; uninterrupted status of the heritage site as a seat of power, and diversified layers of relics and artefacts.
In his speech delivered at the celebration, Director of Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Center Trần Việt Anh looked back on the journey of research, excavation, nomination and preservation of the heritage site. From 2002-2003, a large archaeological excavation was conducted at 18 Hoàng Diệu, revealing a complex of extremely valuable relics, proving the existence and longevity of Thăng Long – Hà Nội over thousand years of history. Since 2004, the Ministry of National Defense has gradually handed over the heritage site to the city of Hà Nội. In October 2004, Hà Nội Citadel opened its doors to visitors for the first time. Since then, the mysteries of the central axis of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long have been gradually revealed through the standing monuments and archaeological vestiges.
The initial research results made by Vietnamese and international experts have confirmed the great cultural, historical and scientific values of the heritage site, based on which a dossier was compiled to seek UNESCO’s inscription of the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long – Hà Nội on the List of World Cultural Heritage. The status of world heritage is a renewed affirmation the cultural values and traditions of thousands of years of Thăng Long – Hà Nội. At the same time, it also opens up opportunities for international cooperation on research, preservation and promotion of heritage values.
“Ten years after the heritage site was inscribed by UNESCO, the work of preserving the value of the Thăng Long Imperial Citadel of Hà Nội capital has been implemented professionally, with the support of the advisory council which gathers many leading professors in the field. Due attention has been paid to in-depth research and heritage conservation activities. Communications and promotion have been enhanced in association with promoting heritage education and bringing heritage closer to the public, especially the younger generation. The application of technology to interpret the heritage for visitors has been promoted while the detailed planning for conservation, embellishment and promotion of the value of the Hà Nội Ancient Citadel relic site with a scale of 1/500 has been completed and approved; research has also been carried out to formulate a master project to preserve and embellish the heritage site; and to restore the space of Kính Thiên Palace, Quảng Chiếu Lantern Festival and other royal ceremonies. The above-mentioned achievements provide the premise and motivation for the Center to continue on the path of heritage conservation and sustainable development,” emphasized Mr. Trần Việt Anh.
Mr. Chu Ngọc Anh, Member of the Central Party Committee, Deputy Secretary of the Hà Nội Party Committee, Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee addressing the Ceremony
Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh affirmed that Hà Nội is a capital city with a long history, a place of convergence, crystallization and diffusion of national cultural values. Through many changes, Thăng Long – Hà Nội still retains in itself precious cultural and historical relics, unique cultural values, the most typical of which is the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long that bears testimony to the glorious history and longevity of Thăng Long – Hà Nội. The fact that this priceless subterranean heritage had been discovered and then became the property of mankind after exactly 1000 years of age was seen by many as a spiritual coincidence that will go down in history for eternity.
“Looking back on the journey of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long to world heritage designation, we are even more grateful to the previous generations who worked so hard to build the civilization, leaving posterity a heritage site of humanity today,” said Mr. Chu Ngọc Anh.
The Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee also expressed his gratitude to the units and individuals who worked painstakingly to make “The Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long a world cultural heritage site. This result was first and foremost because of the outstanding universal value of the heritage itself. Then it is the result of the whole process of persistent efforts and emotional contributions made by ministries, professional agencies, scientists, Vietnamese and international experts who worked laboriously with wisdom, dedication and responsibility in tandem with the city authorities in deciding to nominate the site (and nominating successfully) in 2010 when Thăng Long – Hà Nội turned exactly 1000 years old.
“For the past 10 years, in order to implement the Government’s commitments to UNESCO, the Hà Nội People’s Committee has directed the Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Center to enlist the support of specialized agencies, scientists and researchers to preserve and promote heritage values: From opening the heritage site, making the heritage widely accessible to the public ( especially the younger generation), expanding scientific research, archaeological excavations, develop long-term conservation management plans, etc. to promoting international cooperation in conservation research and value promotion, with steady and professional steps,” said Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh.
Thăng Long – Hà Nội is not only the capital of thousand-years culture, the heroic capital and the City for Peace. It is constantly striving to become a creative capital in the near future. Chairman of the City People’s Committee Chu Ngọc Anh emphasized: “In the next phase, Hà Nội city will continue to make greater innovative and creative efforts and seize opportunities for domestic and international cooperation for long-term preservation and promotion of heritage values. Focus should be placed on the following objectives: unifying the management of relics according to commitments with the World Heritage Committee, implementing projects components according to the approved planning, completing the research project on the restoration of Kính Thiên Palace, promoting the heritage education program for the young generation, enhancing sustainable tourism development activities to contribute effectively to the construction of a prosperous and beautiful capital”.
In his speech at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Minh Vũ said that the World Cultural Heritage of Thăng Long Imperial Citadel, along with other UNESCO designations, has helped to create pride-worthy cultural identities of Hà Nội, enhancing the international image and visibility of Vietnam in general and Hà Nội in particular.
Deputy Minister Nguyễn Minh Vũ suggested that Hà Nội municipal authorities and Thăng Long-Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Center continue to promote the implementation of the remaining commitments made by the Government of Vietnam to UNESCO in 2010, coordinate with relevant agencies, private organizations, domestic and foreign scientists to create diverse, unique and medium-sized tourism products by combining various UNESCO designations. These products should be both enjoyable and educational to contribute to position Hà Nội as a prestigious cultural destination of the whole country.
Head and Representative of UNESCO in Vietnam, Mr. Michael Croft, acknowledged the efforts of Hà Nội City in fulfilling its commitments with UNESCO on preserving and promoting heritage values in the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long – Hà Nội, a treasure of the world that has received due attention worthy of its roles and status as a world heritage site.
Mr. Michael Croft said: “Looking to the future, as Ha Noi is now a member of UNESCO Creative City Network in Creative Design, we encourage site managers and all stakeholders to come up with more initiatives to encourage the Vietnamese youth and talented people to get engaged with the site, to inspire from the rich cultural heritage assets and to create and express in diversity of cultural expressions their connections, their commitment and their love with Vietnamese heritage and culture.
On this occasion, the Hà Nội People’s Committee awarded Certificates of Merit to 3 units and 4 individuals who have made outstanding achievements in the management, embellishment and promotion of the value of Thăng Long Imperial Citadel.
Also within the framework of commemoration activities, Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Center coordinated with the Ile-de-France Regional International Cooperation Agency in Vietnam (PRX – Vietnam) and the Embassy of France in Vietnam cut the ribbon this morning to commence the exhibition “Provins Medieval City and Thăng Long Imperial Citadel – cultural heritage sites in the heart of cities“.
Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre