Russian scientists seek to preserve My Son sanctuary

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my son

Russian scientists are seeking measures to preserve and restore the My Son sanctuary in the central province of Quang Nam, which was recognised as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1999.

The research concluded that the materials used to build temples have various origins and characteristics; the bricks are unevenly baked and contain sand and plant specimen. Clay was used as initial material for brick production, according to Dr. Aleksei Pakhnevich from the Moscow Palaeobiology Institute.The scientists have analysed the structure and construction materials of the sanctuary, such as the combination of brick samples and sculpture pieces used to decorate temples.

Professor Sergey Nefedkin said water intrusion was the main culprit of the erosion and destruction of bricks, making it necessary to harden the surface of the bricks to prevent water endosmosis and restore their original value, he added.

my son
my son

Professor Nguyen Quoc Sy from the Moscow National Energy University said researchers are creating a brick with strong protective layers and will use it to restore the Cham temples in the sanctuary. Scientists are currently evaluating the brick’s reaction to weather patterns, he noted.

The preservation and restoration of Cham temples is not only to preserve their cultural heritage values but also to improve the management capacity of relic site preservers, develop tourism, improve local living standards and promote unique Vietnamese cultural identities to the world.

The restoration of Cham relic sites began in the 1980s and focused on studying the components of and materials to produce Cham bricks, studying and utilising vegetation-originated agglutinative substances, and seeking methods to reinforce the structure and sustainability of the architecture.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Thanh said environmental factors have been destroying the surface and threatening the structure of Cham temples.

He said that local authorities are coordinating with relevant agencies and scientists to discover ancient secrets of constructing temples that have stood for over thousands of years, thus finding ways to preserve them.

At present, several Russian scientists are seeking to preserve the surface of Cham temples to extend their longevity and prevent the impact of weather patterns.

Quang Nam is home to many national and international-level Cham architectures. The most notable are thousand-year-old towers, reflecting the phenomenal creativity of the Champ culture. Temples and clusters of temples in Chien Dan, Khuong My, Bang An, the Dong Duong Buddhist Institute and My Son are attracting scientists to discover their ancient techniques.