(No.10, Vol.6,Dec-Jan 2017 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)
Ngoc Lu bronze drum, Dong Son civilization, 2000-2500 years ago
Van Ban pagoda bell, Tran era,
Jar with a swan image, indigo enamel, early Le era, 15th century
A national treasure is a precious relic that carries messages from the past, the quintessence of rich, diverse and unique Vietnamese culture. This is the first time the Vietnam National Museum of History will exhibit the ‘National Treasures of Vietnam’ at the Vietnam National Museum of History on January 10, 2017 at no. 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi to the public.
According to Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong, Director of the Vietnam National Museum of History, this is a special event. Previously the national treasures have been shown separately in topical exhibition, but this time, these invaluable national relics are showcased to provide a panoramic view of the history of Vietnam as a nation, from the Dong Son Era 2,000 years ago to the time of the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Some, such as That Khe antiques, show the dawn of our history, when our people began the process of building and defending our own nation and civilization. Others such as royal seals show different eras of different dynasties.
The exhibition this time presents two items recently recognized by the National Council of Heritage, namely the Nation Handing Down Seal related to the Nguyen Dynasty’s legacy of expanding the territory and unifying administration system, and a Tran Era’s 8-petaled ceramic vase, a masterpiece that demonstrates the innovative mind and skills of the Viet people in this period of long strides of development in military (3 times defeating the Yuan aggressors), economics and culture.
Beside the antiques, the exhibition also introduces to the public the artefacts related to the nation’s destiny in the fight for independence, the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the struggle for the country’s unification. These include the famous ‘Call for nationwide resistance’ and the ‘Prison diary’ authored by the world-celebrated cultural icon, Chairman Ho Chi Minh.
‘In this exhibition, the Vietnam National Museum of History will be innovative in accentuating the values and meanings of the showcased items to visitors by lay-out, light design, and 3-D illustrations, providing detailed documentary clips about the process of research and evaluation and X-ray images of pattern designs to emphasize the unique values of each item.’
Other relics, which cannot be included in the exhibition due to their tremendous sizes and weights such as a 6th century Champa King’s stele, or the Nam Giao stele where Nguyen Kings conducted a ritual asking Heaven for good weather and crops will be shown comprehensively in images and texts.
Vietnam National Museum of History
1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi
216 Tran Quang Khai St, Hanoi
Tel: (04) 3824-1384