The Chief of Culture of the UNESCO Bankok office and Chair of the Heritage Awards Jury Panel, Tim Curtis, handed the plaque to hotel General Manager Clive Scott, along with certificates of recognition to the core members of the conservation project team during an awards ceremony in Hanoi.
The bomb shelter, which has revealed another layer to the hotel’s rich history, was granted an Honourable Mention in the 2013 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards to Cultural Heritage Conservation. It was used as a shelter for VIP guests, including the famous American singer Joan Baez, during the American air war against northern Vietnam, but had lain forgotten for many years since.
In its assessment, the jury praised the thoughtful approach taken throughout the restoration, “Forgotten for decades until its rediscovery in 2011, the bomb shelter has been preserved in its original condition, with the unobtrusive addition of new mechanical and electrical installations to allow the space to be accessible and safe for public viewing. Through its sensitive approach and thoughtful interpretation, the project provides a rare glimpse into an important chapter of Vietnamese contemporary history.”
The 2013 UNESCO Heritage Awards also granted the Award of Merit to the restoration of historical buildings in Duong Lam Village in Hanoi’s suburban Son Tay district.