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Saigon to Renovate Bến Thành Market, Replace Metal Roof With Tiles

The 110-year-old market will receive a new tiled roof, as well as infrastructure and gate upgrades.

VnExpress reports that private funding will be used to replace, repair, renovate and restore the market floor, water supply and drainage systems, electricity, lighting and fire protection, in addition to restoration of each of the four main gates and the restructuring of kiosks to better meet the needs of vendors. Most notably, the metal roof will be restored to its original tiles, with added insulation to reduce noise and heat and increase ventilation. 

The market was last renovated in 1985, and various elements of it have since deteriorated due to age and the elements. 

According to the news source, Lê Hòa Bình, Standing Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, agreed with the general plans to improve and expand Bến Thành Market and has asked the City Construction Investment Project Management Board to work with a design consultancy group to provide a detailed plan, including estimated costs, to the People's Committee before February 28.

No details have been provided regarding a timeline to perform the renovations, and it is not clear what impact there will be on the market's operations during the construction. Similarly, no specifics have been offered about the private sources that will finance the work.

The French built what was originally called Les Halles Centrales in 1870. In 1912, the 13,000-square-meter market's name was changed to Bến Thành. While it became eerily empty during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown periods, business has resumed since its re-opening last October. And while it looks different today than it did in photos from the 1920s and late 1930s, it remains an important site for both local shoppers and tourists.

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