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Old 07-03-2007, 11:10 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: Statues in Vietnam: a study in disrepair

Vietnam is changing fast. Their authorities have gone beyond allowing their own people to write openly about the poor conditions of this important memorial. They have investigated and are arresting officials for corruption in connection with this scandal.

Vietnamese statue falls victim to corruption

July 4, 2007, HANOI: A memorial to Vietnamís 1954 Dien Bien Phu battle is falling apart because corrupt officials replaced copper bought for its construction with cheaper material, state press reported Tuesday.

Just three years after it was built in 2004, the 12-meter statue depicting Vietnamese soldiers routing the French army in the battle that precipitated the end of colonial rule is already showing cracks.

Investigators in Vietnam, where corruption is endemic, believe officials stole around 30 percent of the 220 tons of copper at a 240-million-dong (US$15,000) profit.

Five people were arrested in June over the scandal, which has gripped the nation.

The Vietnamese government has made the fight against corruption one of its priorities
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