Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 for its ‘universal value to mankind’, My Son was almost entirely destroyed during the Vietnam War by U.S. B52 bombing campaigns, and large bomb craters can still be seen throughout the site. The last remaining twenty monuments standing represent the longest religious occupation in Southeast Asia, but these temples are in critical need of conservation and stabilization to save the last remnants of this once great sanctuary. To address this need, GHF worked with a private institutions and governmental bodies to provide support for urgently needed stabilization, archaeological documentation, planning, site conservation and training to help save the last remaining temples of My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam.
The surviving temples of My Son Sanctuary stun even the most jaded viewer. Skilled carvers, who were sent to learn their craft in Java between the 8th and 10th centuries AD, returned to My Son Sanctuary to create some of the most detailed carved brickwork and stonework to be seen anywhere in the world. While many of the carvings have been removed to the Cham Museum in Da Nang city, exceptionally fine bas-reliefs still stand in the sanctuary. Also in this temple group, are some fine kalans, or temple-towers, first built of brick and then elaborately carved.