In the morning of May 11th, 2022, leaders of the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center had a working session with the delegation of the French Ministry of Culture at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. The purpose of this session was to discuss cooperation activities at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in the past and upcoming events.
Hanoi city and French localities built and promoted a resilient bilateral and collaborative friendship in many fields, namely science, culture, and education long ago. In the Cooperation Agreements on Cultural heritage between Hanoi and Ile de France and Toulouse city, remarkable achievements have been reached, greatly supporting the research, conservation, and promotion of Hanoi’s cultural heritage values. Over the years, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long has also received extensive support, cooperation, and assistance from experts, agencies and organizations on cultural heritage of the French Republic, especially those from Ile de France and Toulouse city in preparing the world heritage nomination dossier and in researching, preserving, and promoting the values of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.
Within the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between Hanoi and Ile de France, from 2007, the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center has held various effective cooperation activities with Ile de France tourism and heritage management agencies. The cooperation activities include heritage conservation and tourism development; preservation and embellishment of French architectural works in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long; trainee exchange, and staff training. On the other hand, experts from Ile de France have participated in world heritage nomination dossier preparation for the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long relic site and coordinated with the Center in designing the ticketing area and temporary information center to serve visitors. They also gave critiques and reviews for 02 planning projects of Hanoi Citadel and Co Loa Citadel, provided technical supports to preserve, represent and promote the values of Thang Long Museum at the VAXUCO building in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, and consulted Hanoi’s tourist attractions networking. Additionally, Ile de France received interns at regional heritage agencies and sent experts to hold several training courses on tourist guides for the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre staff and the Management Board of Duong Lam Ancient Village in November 2012. Both sides have coordinated to organize several joint exhibitions in Hanoi and France, namely the photo exhibition “Colours of Hanoi 1914 – 1917” hosted by IMV at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, galleries and exhibitions on the joint achievements of the Ile de France tourism committee and the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre in Paris (June 2014). In 2020, the exhibition “Provins ancient urban area – France and the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi: cultural heritage in the heart of the city” was held at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. Another exhibition on the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is expected to take place in 2022 in Provins.
Regarding cooperation with Toulouse city and the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement between Hanoi and Toulouse city, from 2013, the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre has expanded cooperation with heritage management agencies and museums of Toulouse city in fields of archeology and cultural heritage values preservation and promotion. Cooperation activities come in many shapes and sizes, such as displays, cross-exhibitions, and trainee exchanges. In particular, the Hanoi – Toulouse cooperation project on technical assistance to preserve and promote the value of typical urban heritages and archaeological relics at the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, the World Cultural Heritage (2020-2023), implemented by Toulouse city and Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre is aimed at training and technology transference in fields of archeology, museums, and media. Toulouse experts are also sent to work in Hanoi and support research, heritage conservation, etc. Within the framework of the project, both sides will hold a joint exhibition in welcoming the Vietnam – France Decentralized Cooperation Conference to be held in Hanoi at the end of 2022.
The visit was successful and positively contributed to promoting partnerships between Hanoi and French localities, while simultaneously enhancing the cooperation between Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre and other professional bodies from France for effective implementation of research activities in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long and its preservation.