The Temple of Literature in Hanoi has recently looked brighter with new white walls, which was done in an attempt to clean and preserve the centuries-old relic.
Some visitors have recently complained that the new colour does not suit with the architectural style of the site. Others are expressing concerns that a careless renovation project may destroy the attraction.
However, director of the Temple of Literature’s Scientific and Cultural Activities Centre, Le Xuan Kieu, confirmed with the Sport and Culture Newspaper that they did not do any renovation but just cleaning and preservation work at the site.
“We started the preservation work last November, including repainting the walls surrounding the lake, and the gates which were covered with dust or had their old coat of paint peeling off,” Kieu explained. “We didn’t use chemicals, just a mixture of lime and peat to create a gray paint colour. We also cleaned all the wooden structures.”
Kieu also added that they would propose a renovation project at the temple later this year as many parts including the main gate, courtyard gates and Thai Hoc House were showing signs of deterioration.
The wall at the main gate shows signs of deterioration.
The Temple of Literature was constructed in 1070 under Ly Thanh Tong’s dynasty, initially to honour Confucius. In 1076, King Ly Nhan Tong continued the work and transformed it into the first university of Vietnam. It has now become a famous tourist attraction in Hanoi where visitors can admire the special architectural style and learn about Vietnam’s feudal education system.