Hours after a representative of the Honorary Consul General of Finland in HCMC proposed local authorities preserve parts of the Saigon Tax Trade Center due to be demolished soon, hundreds of locals have signed an online petition urging prompt action.
The Saigon Tax Trade Center's mosaic tiled floor, which is proposed for preservation
The consulate's proposal, covered in the Daily on October 7's issue, was followed by the petition at http://goo.gl/8fLbS6, and had won the backing by over 1,400 people as of 7.30 p.m. on October 7. Joining the common voice for the common cause are architects, researchers, and students among others.
Tran Huu Khoa, an architect in the city who prepared the petition, told the Daily that after learning about the plan to tear down the old building, he and his friends who are architects and researchers raised their voice in newspapers and on their own blogs. Such comments are not strong enough, so Khoa and his friends made the online petition with an aim to have their voice heard.
“We understand that retaining the Saigon Tax Trade Center and preventing (authorities) from developing a new high-rise building at the site are all beyond our reach, so we've decided to campaign for preserving parts of the building,” Khoa said.
“We want to preserve cultural heritages inside the Saigon Tax Trade Center to prevent the loss and damage of such values like what has happened to Trung Vuong Theater in Danang City,” he added
Khoa revealed that his group had won support from the Heritage Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as well as professionals in archaeology and history at home and abroad.
Phan Khac Huy, director of Coi Viet Company, said preserving the heritage in the Saigon Tax Trade Center is necessary as the building is an old part of Saigon and is a link between the past and the future.
Doan Hoai Minh, project manager at Satra as owner of the Saigon Tax Trade Center, said his corporation had not yet obtained the proposal from the consulate.
Upon the petition from the consulate of Finland, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has sent a letter to the HCMC government asking municipal authorities to assign a competent agency to look into the proposal.
As covered in the Daily in Tuesday's issue, the consulate of Finland in HCMC has sent a letter to local government and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, suggesting solutions to preserve historically important parts of Saigon Tax Trade Center.
The shopping center will be torn down soon to build a 40-storey commercial center.
For the first solution, the diplomats suggested that the main lobby, the mosaic tiled floor and the main stairway of the center should be maintained to integrate into the new building.
Otherwise, they suggested the second solution of removing some parts of the main stairway and lobby and installing them back onto a new facility later.
In its letter, the Finnish Consulate said it is also entrusted by the French Consulate General and the consul delegation in HCMC, and promised to arrange manpower and budget for the second solution.
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