17th century woodblocks recognized as UNESCO World Heritage

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A set of 3,050 woodblocks emblazoned with Buddhist sutras in Chinese and old Vietnamese -- called Nom -- script was recognized as a World Documentary Heritage by UNESCO on May 16.

The woodblocks are kept at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in the northern province of Bac Giang.

According to Prof Luu Tran Tieu, director of the National Heritage Council, the recognition took place at a UNESCO conference held in Bangkok, Thailand as part of the organization's Memory of the World Program.

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The Buddhist sutra woodblocks, carved between the 16th-19th centuries by local artisans, feature mainly sutras, stories, Buddhist commandments, poems, and diaries of monks from the Truc Lam Yen Tu Zen School.

The school was founded by King Tran Nhan Tong in the 11th century.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is known for its longest history of training Buddhist monks.

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