Architects discuss new coat for Saigon Central Post Office

Recently the public and architects have frowned on the overly bright new paint on the Saigon Central Post Office that is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most prominent icons and 150 year old cultural heritages of ancient Saigon.

The post office was constructed by a French company in 1891 and is rich in French architecture elements. The 150 year old edifice, which is of immense historical and cultural value, is ranked as a city’s cultural heritage.  So all changes of the building must be approved by the municipal People’s Committee as well as related agencies.

However, as the post office was applied a new layer of paint with a brighter shade of yellow, it has drawn anger from the public and local architects and artists over the past few days.

Huynh Van Muoi, chairman of the city’s Artist Association, said that the post office was one of the city’s cultural heritages including the Reunification Hall (Indepence Palace), the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, and People's Committee Headquarters.

The edifice’s original color was an earthen yellow with white and black tints, which made the color tasteful and moderately bright, he said.

Following the public anger, the post office’s management board has sent a document to the Department of Culture and Sport and related agencies asking to help repair the brighter shade of yellow and a coating of nanomaterials. In its letter, the post office’s management board proposed a meeting with the participation of architects and related agencies over the coating.

In the meeting on January 22, Dang Thi Nga, the post office’s director acknowledged that the management board is inexperienced in carrying out facelifts without approval from the planning architecture council and the People’s Committee.

Accordingly, to ease the public concern, the post office was coated with a white paint while waiting for new painting suggested by the council and experts.

By Minh An - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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