The Newsletter 57 Summer 2011

The framing and representation of cultural heritage In French Indochina and contemporary Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Hazel Hahn

Colonial narratives of urban development, centered on cities like Saigon, Hanoi and Phnom Penh, and those of restoration and conservation, centered especially on Angkor as well as Luang Prabang and Vientiane, framed issues of heritage by underlining the “civilising mission” in bringing progress and protecting local cultures. Yet imperial rivalry and the exploitation of colonial possessions also provided a major impetus for the classification of monuments and historical sites.

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