The Alliance of Arts and Literature Associations of Thua Thien-Hue Province is trying to save their headquarters, a century-old French villa, after the land was allocated for a new hotel project.


The century-old villa

Thua Thien-Hue Province People's Committee agreed to let Logi 3 JSC invest in a hotel and shopping complex on Le Loi Street, Hue City. Many artists have reacted strongly when it is reported that the land on which the headquarters of the Alliance of Arts and Literature Associations of Thua Thien-Hue Province is located has been set for the new project. Many worried that it will be demolished.

Ho Dang Thanh Ngoc, vice head of the alliance, said, "The provincial authorities plan to turn Le Loi Street into a touristic place with museums and arts institutes. This is a reasonable development and we're willing to move out our headquarters. However, the French villa must be kept and preserved."

Ngoc said the villa had beautiful architecture and heritage values. Many famous artists in Vietnam had worked in the villa such as songwriter Trinh Cong Son, writers Nguyen Khac Phe, Lam Thi My Da and painter Buu Chi. Foreign researchers and critics had also worked there.

The villa is over 100 years old and needs to be repaired. Ngoc suggested turning the villa into a museum related to famous artists with cultural exchange activities.   


Fireplace inside the villa

Director of Department of Planning and Investment Phan Thien Dinh said developing Le Loi Street into a tourist attraction was their top priority so all agencies, including the provincial people's committee, must move out.

They have only allowed investors to carry out research and field survey because a prime ministerial decision issued in 2007 ban authorities from selling state-owned lands. They are still considering the best ideas before calling for investment.

The French villa will be assessed for preservation plans. The Alliance of Arts and Literature Associations can submit their ideas to the provincial authorities, Dinh added.