The pagoda was recognized as an artistic, architectural and religious by Quang Binh authorities in 2000.
During the restoration process, Duc Trach commune People’s Committee has dismantled all parts of the pagoda without permission from relevant authorities.
It’s reported that Quang Binh provincial People’s Committee agreed with a plan to restore Quan Am pagoda in December 2017 with an estimated budget of 1.6 billion VND from the state budget and non-state contribution.
The restoration items included roof, walls, foundation of the main hall, three-door entrance gate and supporting facilities.
New concrete ground of the pagoda
On April 4, when the restoration work was started, Duc Trach commune People’s Committee dismantled all parts of the pagoda, built new concrete ground and started the construction when legal requirements conditions have not been fully met.
Duc Trach commune authorities explained that the management board of the pagoda intended to restore the pagoda many years ago. When the provincial People’s Committee signaled the green light for the pagoda restoration, Buddhists and the management board of the pagoda wanted to start the reconstruction on Avalokitesvara Bodhisatva Day and complete its restoration before Vu Lan festival. Then, local authorities have agreed with their plan.
Regarding the dismantlement all parts of the pagoda, it was explained that when conducting practical survey of the pagoda, its original ground and walls have seriously degraded, so it’s unsafe to build new roof basing on the original structure as early planned by the commune People’s Committee.
In this case, the commune People’s Committee has violated Article 12 prescribed in the Vietnam Construction Law 2014 by starting construction when legal requirements were not fully met; constructing works in contradiction with initial construction plan; abusing powers as prescribed in the law on construction, etc.
The commune People’s Committee also has violated Article 13 of the Cultural Heritage Law by activities ruining or posing a danger of ruining cultural heritages.
So far, the provincial People’s Committee has issued a decision on sanction of administrative violations to the commune authorities for changing original elements of the historical-cultural relic of Quan Am pagoda without permission from relevant authorities. It also asked the commune People’s Committee to suspend the restoration work at the pagoda and complete the legal requirements of the law on restoration of historical relics.