Ben Thanh’s iconic statue to be relocated for metro station

The iconic statue of General Tran Nguyen Han that watches over the roundabout opposite Ben Thanh Market will be moved to accommodate Saigon’s forthcoming subway system, city authorities announced last week. Along with the pitched roof of Ben Thanh, this wrought iron and cement sculpture has long been a familiar symbol of the roundabout, and many locals and tourists alike have turned up in recent days to snap one last photo with the general, who is depicted releasing a carrier pigeon. Though authorities have not yet said where the statue will go, for the moment there are mixed feelings on its departure, with some locals calling its move the end of an era and others looking forward to the metro system as a marker of progress. In addition to General Tran Nguyen Han, the more modest bust of Quach Thi Trang, a 15-year-old high school student who was killed during an anti-war protest in 1963 and after whom the roundabout was later named, will also be moved out of the roundabout.

Photo: Minh Hung