Eighteen national treasures presented to the public for the first time
Update: Jan 12, 2017
Eighteen national treasures recognised by Viet Nam’s authorities over the past period are being presented under a special exhibition held for the first time by the National Museum of Viet Nam History in Ha Noi.

Opening on January 10, the “Viet Nam National Treasures” exhibition aims to honour and promote the value of the national treasures while offering a chance to visitors to examine Viet Nam’s history and culture, as well as stories behind the national treasures themselves.

The event features 18 national treasures among around 200,000 documents and artefacts preserved at the museum, dating from the Dong Son Culture (2,000 years ago), through Dai Viet Civilisation and feudal dynasties, to the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Historical and cultural related stories will be presented to offer the public further understanding about the creation of arts and craftsmanship of Vietnamese people, thus encouraging patriotism and national pride, as well as contributing to conserve and promote Vietnamese cultural values.

Among the 18 treasures, there are two that have recently been recognised in December of last year, which are the Golden Seal “Dai Viet quoc Nguyen Chua vinh tran chi bao” and the Storage Jar with brown glazed ceramic pattern from the Tran Dynasty.

The Gold Seal was made in the Vinh Thinh 5th Year (1709) under the reign of Le Du Tong King of Restored Le dynasty. It was passing to Gia Long Emperor (1802-1820) and then chosen as the treasure for the royal throne of the Nguyen Dynasty.

The Storage Jar is a typical unique artefact with distinct patterns from the Tran Dynasty. It was discovered at the Tran Temple in Tuc Mac Village, Loc Vuong Ward, Nam Dinh City, in 1972.

Other precious treasures can be mentioned as Hoang Ha Bronze Drum under the Dong Son Culture, which was discovered in the Noi Thon Neighbourhood, Hoang Ha Village, Phu Xuyen District, Ha Son Binh Province (Hanoi now). Hoang Ha Drum is designed with unique thematic decorations from Dong Son Bronze Culture and is relatively intact.

Dao Thinh bronze jar is the largest-sized jar of the Dong Son. It is decorated with refined and unique aesthetic patterns, reflecting the traditional aspiration for the reproduction and proliferation by residents of wet rice agriculture.

The statue of a panpipe-playing couple piggypacking is the most vivid one in the Dong Son object system, with several angles and curves, requiring complex moulding techniques. 

Therefore, it is not only evidence of a type of traditional ethnic music originated from the Dong Son Culture, but also reflects the rich spiritual life, optimism and the peak of copper casting of the ancient Vietnamese.

The exhibition also showcases important historical works such as "Nhat ky trong tu" (Prison Diary), "Duong Kach Menh" (Revolutionary Road) and the handwritten draft of “Call for National Resistance” by President Ho Chi Minh.

In addition, the organisers also display scientific documents related to the treasures such as drawings, pattern stamping and illustrations with modern technologies applied in presentation to highlight the value of each national treasure.

Dr Pham Quoc Quan, former director of National Museum of Viet Nam History, said that the exhibition was to promote the nomination and recognition of Viet Nam’s national treasures. 

Over the last five recognitions by the government with nearly 400 artefacts, the number remains low compared with the nation’s rich history and culture.

For that reason, Dr Quan suggested that the work be facilitated to honour the legacy left by the ancestors, while encouraging locales and museum system to register more treasures to recognise as national heritages. That could help promote Vietnam’s culture and history to the world, he added.

The special exhibition will open to public until May this year.