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HCMC Fine Arts Museum Is Sinking Due to Nearby Skyscraper Construction

Saigon’s Fine Arts Museum is facing some serious structural problems that could pose a threat to passersby and visitors.

As Zing reports, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports recently submitted a report to the municipal People’s Committee on how the structural integrity of the Fine Arts Museum has been damaged, allegedly by the construction of a nearby commercial and residential complex.

According to the report, a section of the museum’s surrounding railings on Le Thi Hong Gam Street — which directly faces the construction site — is tilting outwards and could collapse on pedestrians. The gate entrance is also slanted and can’t be used.

On the museum compound, three building blocks and a security post suffer from cracks on walls and subsidence, while tiles have detached from certain patches of the museum’s interior.

The culture department attributes these faulty developments to the ongoing construction of the commercial skyscraper on the lot next door. After years of being stuck in limbo, work on the project finally began in earnest last October, with the developer aiming to erect two towers - one 48 stories and other 55 stories - on a strategic patch of land that borders four central streets in District 1, just a stone’s throw from Ben Thanh Market.

In the report, the department urged the contractor of the skyscraper to promptly rectify the problems it has created for the museum. So far, it’s been suggested that a set of supports be installed along the tilting walls, but museum managers rejected the temporary solution.

This is not the first time this skyscraper project has wreaked havoc on the neighborhood and the Fine Arts Museum. Six years ago, a crane on the site toppled over while transporting a bundle of steel, damaging a wall of the museum and destroying a statue. A month later, a freak accident reignited criticisms of the project: a bus turned a corner sharply and slammed a pedestrian into the temporary fencing, killing him.

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