Restoration of the My Son sanctuary began in the early 1980s. A Vietnam-Poland cooperative restoration program together with the participation of the Institute for Relic Preservation contributed greatly to preserving the relic. Initial restoration efforts under the program helped the site become recognized as a World Cultural Heritage.
From 1997 to 2000, Italian experts surveyed and evaluated the physical, geological, and hydrological status of the relic as well as the construction materials, glue, and techniques used to build the Cham towers. Based on these surveys, the Italian government and UNESCO provided funding and support to protect the My Son World Heritage Site. More than 3,000 artifacts and traces have been unearthed and classified on an excavation site of more than 1,800 square meters.
From 2011 to 2015, the Institute for Relic Preservation implemented a project to restore the E7 tower, one of the Kosagrha architectural structures with a boat-shaped roof. Archaeologist Le Van Minh said: “During the last 40 years of restoration of the My Son sanctuary, the advancement in restoration techniques from 1980 to 1990 have played an important role. In the ensuing years, thanks to greater resources, the restoration of the relic site has been more professional and sustainable.”
All the techniques to restore the relic followed professional and scientific archaeological methods, and thus bringing about sustainable results. Phan Ho, Director of the My Son Cultural Heritage Preservation Management Board, said the initial restoration of the My Son relic site has been maintained to this day. Ho said: “After being recognized as World Cultural Heritage, My Son has changed dramatically. It has been protected under the International Convention and the Vietnam Heritage Law. It has attracted Vietnamese and foreign researchers, and scientists, together with organizations and visitors.”
Thanks to increased efforts and technical interventions, the My Son relic site has been well preserved and restored, helping to promote Vietnamese heritage and making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam.
Major donors for the restoration of the heritage site include the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Italian government, UNESCO, and the Indian government. Nguyen Thanh Hong, Director of the Quang Nam Provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said: “We have developed programs to sustainably restore, protect, and apply the great value of the relic to promote tourism and attract foreign investment. We are calling on investment from private enterprises and travel agencies to promote tourism in buffer zones around the relic site.”
There remain more than 70 ruins on the My Son relic site, so a lot work is still ahead to preserve the site.