Five-ton calligraphy work to be displayed

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A five-ton piece of calligraphy with the edict to move Vietnam's capital from Hoa Lu in the northern province of Ninh Binh to Thang Long (now Hanoi) in 1010 will be exhibited from October 4 to 10.

The 4.58x3.85-meter work features 214 words in Han characters crafted from gilded copper on one side of a wooden frame. Each character is ten centimeters high, and can be seen from ten meters away.

On the other side are translations of the text in Vietnamese and English.

The edict begins by citing previous decisions made by Chinese emperors to move the capital. It suggests that such decisions lead to a more prosperous country. It notes that the emperors did not move their capitals on a whim, or because they wanted to.

Over the years the edict has been regarded as important in terms of history, politics, literature, geography, and philosophy.

Nguyen Khac Loi, vice director of the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the historic edict, authored by King Ly Thai To who founded the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225), has been reproduced many times on pottery and copper, but the latest version is the largest-ever.

In fact, it has set national records regarding size, and the materials and techniques used, Loi said on Monday when receiving the work from Vietnam Association of Craft Villages and Celadon Company, which initiated the project in 2008.

A ceremony where the edict will be offered to the statue of the king, also known as Ly Cong Uan, at Ly Thai To Garden is scheduled for October 2. It will be then exhibited at Vietnam's first university, Quoc Tu Giam, for the city's 1,000th anniversary celebrations.

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