Ceramic painting of Vietnam to hang in French city hall

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Artist Nguyen Thu Thuy (L) explains the meaning of her painting to representatives from Choisy-le-Roi and Hanoi (unseen)

Forty years ago, Vietnamese delegates who came to France to negotiate peace stayed in Choisy-le-Roi, a town in the southeastern suburbs of Paris where they received support from friends in the French Communist Party.

This town has a long history of friendship with Vietnam as its mayor's wife used to be chairperson of the VietnamFrance Friendship Association. Now, there exists a square named, "Paris Accords," located right in the city center, next to the Seine River and a Dong Da Street, named for a district in Hanoi.

On September 2011, mayor of Choisy-le-Roi Louis Luc proposed placing a ceramic painting of Vietnam, which was primarily designed by Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, in the town hall. This painting will be a present from the Hanoi People's Committee to Choisy-le-Roi on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords (19732013).

According to Thuy, the focus of this work to portray a historical image of war-time Vietnam, specifically Hanoi, juxtaposed with images of sister cities Choisy-le-Roi and Lugo, Italy.

The painting, five meters high and four meters wide, has images of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese peace delegates, the signing of Paris Accords in 1973 as well as Marc Riboud's famous photograph of thousands of Vietnam War protestors gathered outside the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

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The painting includes a portrait of Ho Chi Minh, The Vietnamese, French and Italian flags, and depicts decorative ceramic vases from the Ly-Tran dynasties (found in Hanoi), Boulenger ceramics from Choisy-le-Roi, and the mosaic style indigenous to Lugo.

Ceramic pieces completed at Hanoi's Bat Trang pottery village will be shipped to Choisy-le-Roi this September. Thuy and her crew will finish the painting in time for the 40th anniversary in 2013.

It is symbolic of the friendship shared between the three cities, especially the long historic tie between Choisy-le-Roi and Hanoi, said Thuy.

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