Central museum receives new major artifacts

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A royal conferment, sophisticatedly encrusted with the gold seal of Nguyen King Thieu Tri (1807 1847), to general Ton That Truc for his credit in defending the Dien Hai Citadel against invasion.

The museum of Da Nang has recently received several major artifacts as donations from local collectors.

On Dec 17, monk Thich Minh Tong from Lien Son Commune in the northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh's Luong Son District handed over six statues dating back to 17th century, two royal edicts and several other historical documents from the Nguyen and Le dynasties to the museum in the central city of Da Nang. Tong, who is director of the Buddhist Chon Ngon Tong Museum in Hoa Binh Province said the items were purchased from an antique shop in Chinatown in Bordeaux, France in 2007.

Fluent in Han (Chinese) scripts and Nom (old Vietnamese scripts), the Buddhist monk found the items indeed originated from Vietnam.

One of the documents he gave to the museum is a royal conferment, sophisticatedly encrusted with the gold seal of Nguyen Emperor Thieu Tri (1807 1847), to general Ton That Truc for his credit in defending Dien Hai Citadel against invasion. The museum is located on the grounds of the former citadel.

According to museum director Ha Phuoc Mai, among the royal edicts, the royal conferment is quite rare and significant to research on the history of Dien Hai relic site. It is also the museum's second  of its kind, of which the first, issued under the reign of King Minh Mang (1791 1841), belonged to a local collector from the northern province of Nam Dinh before it was donated last May.

In addition, while most royal edicts under the Nguyen Dynasty were printed, according to monk Thich Minh Tong, "the Thieu Tri one was drawn and is the most beautiful among my collection of 300 edicts."

Tong also donated a diplomatic note sent by the king to soldiers on a secret mission. He said this was especially rare, because secret edicts were as a rule always destroyed immediately after being read. But this one survived history, somehow.

The Dien Hai Military Post, built in 1813 under the reign of King Gia Long near Han river mouth before being relocated, was renamed Dien Hai Citadel.

On November 15, an exhibition of more than 150 antique items featuring Cham culture as well as the Ly, Tran, Le and Nguyen dynasties opened in the museum.

The nine local collectors who own the displayed objects also donated another 54 items, including ceramics and irons from Vietnam, China, India and France.

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