Renovation plans proposed for old church

The Relics Preservation Institute, after examining 134-year-old Bui Chu Church in the northern province of Nam Dinh, has proposed two possible renovation plans to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Plans postponed to pull down Bui Chu old church
Architects protest tearing down old church

Renovation plans proposed for old church
Bui Chu Church, one of the most magnificient old churches in the north of Vietnam, is in a state of serious disrepair. — Photo tintucnamdinh.vn

The church, located in Xuan Ngoc Commune, Xuan Truong District, Nam Dinh Province, was built in the late 19th century by Spanish Bishop Wenceslao Onate Thuan. It was inaugurated in 1885 and renovated in 1974 and 2000.

The first solution aims to maintain the original structure and remove damaged parts to fix or replace them, while the second option would see the church torn down and replaced by a new structure modelled off the original.

Under the first plan, for example, workers would remove broken roof tiles. They would re-use ones that can be salvaged and replace those that cannot with new tiles designed based on the old ones.

The workers would fix the damaged cement border on the roof to look like the original architecture.

The worm-eaten wooden pillars would be replaced by wood of the same kind and cracked walls would be fixed, maintaining their original decoration patterns.

The foundation would be strengthened to save the inclined bell tower and walls. The old floor tiles would be replaced by new ones based on the originals.

According to experts from the institute, this solution would not last very long and further renovation would be needed every year. It also would not meet the demand for a larger space for gatherings inside the church.

The second solution involves pulling down the whole building including the old foundation and floor. Workers would build a new foundation using advanced techniques to ensure the building will last longer.

The new church would mimic the old structure but would be slightly larger.

The new building would reuse metal decoration frames, preserve tombs of priests and use renovated gold-gilded decorations, old stone stelae and two bronze bells.

The institute said the second solution would be more stable and long-lasting.

 

“It preserves basic features and typical values of the original church while meeting demands of the community for a larger area at a reasonable price,” the report to the culture ministry reads.

The institute proposed the ministry choose a highly qualified agency with experience renovating relics and building religious buildings. The chosen agency should make a detailed plan before dismantling any of the building.

Feedback from experts

As the ministry consults experts to choose between the two options, some architects have expressed concerns.

Nguyen Hanh Nguyen, a lecturer at HCM City Architecture University, told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper she had voted for the first solution.

“This solution keeps the key values of the building and avoids destroying materials that cannot be replaced,” she said. “This solution preserves symbols of culture and history proving the initial period when Christianity was introduced in Vietnam. This is a way of preserving originality.”

She said she was worried that after destroying the walls and foundation, it would be impossible to find workers talented enough to recreate the old structure.

“We always remake buildings that were totally destroyed by fire or bombs,” she said. “This is an intact building.”

Architect Nguyen Ngoc Hoai Nam, a member of Yêu Di Sản (Love Heritage) Group, said he believes the first solution will cost much less than the second option.

Nam also suggested another solution: preserve the existing church while building a new building next to the old one.

“We will both keep the old one and have a more spacious area for the increasing demands of the local community,” he said.

VNS

 
 

Other News

.
Hoping 2021 brings further thrives
Hoping 2021 brings further thrives
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  12/02/2021 

On the threshold of Lunar New Year 2021, artists in HCM City reviewed their operation in 2020 and voice their hope for a new year 2021 with full of peace and further thrives so that they can bring their artworks closer the public.

Traditional Tet food offerings to ancestors
Traditional Tet food offerings to ancestors
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  12/02/2021 

During the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, each ethnic group in Vietnam has its own culinary specialties that reflect the culture of their people and are used as offerings to worship their ancestors.

Vietnam’s Tet festival in the eyes of foreign diplomats
Vietnam’s Tet festival in the eyes of foreign diplomats
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  11/02/2021 

The Ambassadors of the US and France to Vietnam have shared their experience of celebrating the biggest festival in a year of Vietnamese people – the Lunar New Year or Tet.

Buffalo in Vietnamese culture
Buffalo in Vietnamese culture
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  11/02/2021 

The upcoming Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the Year of the Buffalo - the second animal in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac. 

Saigonese wear face masks to take photos on Nguyen Hue flower street
Saigonese wear face masks to take photos on Nguyen Hue flower street
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  10/02/2021 

On the morning of February 10, Nguyen Hue Flower Street opened for visitors, who are requested to comply with the 5K message of the Ministry of Health in order to prevent the Covid-19 epidemic

Vietnamese preserve tomb-sweeping tradition
Vietnamese preserve tomb-sweeping tradition
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  11/02/2021 

Vietnamese families often visit their ancestors’ tombs and clean gravesites whenever the Lunar New Year (Tet) comes, normally from the 23rd of the last month of the lunar year to New Year’s Eve.

Making buffalo statues at 500-year-old pottery village in Hoi An
Making buffalo statues at 500-year-old pottery village in Hoi An
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  10/02/2021 

Weeks before the lunar New Year (Tet holiday), craftsmen of Thanh Ha pottery village were busy making buffalo statues – the mascot of the new lunar year to serve customers.

A royal rite to welcome the peace and prosperity of spring
A royal rite to welcome the peace and prosperity of spring
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  10/02/2021 

The ritual “Tien Xuan Nguu” of the Le Trung Hung Dynasty (16th to 18th centuries), a unique rite in the old court has been re-enacted at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi.

Local designer wins Asia-Pacific Face Mask Competition
Local designer wins Asia-Pacific Face Mask Competition
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  10/02/2021 

Vietnamese designer Nguyen Dang Binh has finished first in the “3-Colors” category in the Kingston x CSD Asia-Pacific (APAC) Mask Design Competition.

Old Tet market recreated in Hoi An
Old Tet market recreated in Hoi An
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  10/02/2021 

The Lunar New Year, or Tet, is an occasion to honour traditional values and remind the younger generation to preserve and promote Vietnam’s beautiful cultural identities. 

Mistery of three ancient temples in Hung Yen
Mistery of three ancient temples in Hung Yen
FEATUREicon  12/02/2021 

Pho Hien (Hien Street), Chua Chuong (Chuong Pagoda), and Den tho Chu Dong Tu (Chu Dong Tu Temple) are all associated with mysterious legends imbued with the cultural colors of ancient times.

HCM City: Calligraphy festival hosted to welcome Year of Buffalo
HCM City: Calligraphy festival hosted to welcome Year of Buffalo
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  09/02/2021 

A calligraphy festival is underway at Vietnam Quoc Tu (Vietnam National Pagoda) in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City to welcome the Year of the Buffalo in the lunar calendar and preserve the country’s traditional culture.

Vietnamese athletes are sad about Tet bonus
Vietnamese athletes are sad about Tet bonus
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  09/02/2021 

Unlike football players who get year-round bonuses and high monthly salaries, professional athletes in other sports only have bonuses and rewards if they win medals at international tournaments.

TV series entertain audiences for New Year
TV series entertain audiences for New Year
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  11/02/2021 

Local television stations have lined up dozens of new TV series to entertain audiences nationwide during Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, falling on February 10-16.

Miss Universe Vietnam beauties stun in Tet photo collection
Miss Universe Vietnam beauties stun in Tet photo collection
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  09/02/2021 

A number of local beauty queens who have won the Miss Universe Vietnam pageant in previous years appear incredible in a photo collection taken in order to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Buffalo.

700m flower road opens in HCM City
700m flower road opens in HCM City
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  08/02/2021 

A flower road of 700m long has been set up in Phu My Hung urban area in District 7, HCM City to welcome the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet holiday).

Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, H'Hen Nie honors Dong Ho folk painting
Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, H'Hen Nie honors Dong Ho folk painting
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  08/02/2021 

Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, H'Hen Nie shared her photographs honoring Dong Ho folk paintings to celebrate the Tet holiday.

Unique Tet trays showcase national delicacies made from clay
Unique Tet trays showcase national delicacies made from clay
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  09/02/2021 

Trays featuring food from the country’s three regions and various offerings for the Lunar New Year festival, known locally as Tet, have been vividly created using clay by an artisan in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam may go to the UAE for World Cup 2022 qualifier
Vietnam may go to the UAE for World Cup 2022 qualifier
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  08/02/2021 

The Vietnamese team is likely to go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to play the remaining match in Group G in the 2022 World Cup qualifying round.

V-League: Tet bonuses are not for everyone
V-League: Tet bonuses are not for everyone
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  08/02/2021 

V-League 2021 has been postponed because of the Covid-19 epidemic, so players have an early lunar New Year (Tet holiday). But many players are unhappy because they do not have a Tet bonus as usual.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN