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Saigon’s 130-Year-Old People's Law Court to Get $15m Renovation

Saigon has given many of its stately colonial buildings some love in recent months. The latest to join this list is one of the city’s most impressive historical gems – the 130-year-old People's Law Court (formerly the Palais de Justice).

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One of the three main courts built in Vietnam by the French (the others were located in Hanoi and Da Nang), the building, perhaps the city’s best specimen of neoclassical architecture, was designed by Cochinchina’s first chief architect, Marie-Alfred Foulhoux and constructed between 1881 and 1885.

The two year restoration plan is long overdue and has been in the works since 2002. One reason for the holdup is the sheer amount of oversight such a project requires, writes Thanh Nien.

As a protected building, restoration plans had to be approved by the city’s Facility of Construction, Center of Historical Relics Conservation, and Department of Cultural Heritage. Only then did it go on to get the final go-ahead from the Departments of Construction, Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Under the renovation plan, all of the building’s ornamentation and architectural details will be retained and repaired while two original structures, along with their doors, windows and reliefs will be preserved. 

As soon as the city identifies a company qualified to renovate colonial architectural elements, the VND320 billion restoration will begin, hopefully sometime in 2015.

Over the past year, the city has applied new coats of paint to Vietnam Railway's building, the People's Committee building and the Post Office. In June, Notre Dame Cathedral officials announced that the building would undergo its first major renovation that is scheduled to begin in the coming months.

[Photos via rongcoithit]

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