Thang Long - Hanoi’s national treasures introduced to the public for the first time

Thursday, 2017-11-23 10:37:14
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Visitors admire an ancient bronze drum discovered at Co Loa citadel. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO – Four groups of national treasures found in Thang Long ancient citadel are on display for the first time at the Hanoi Museum, No. 2 Pham Hung street, Me Tri ward, South Tu Liem district, on the occasion of the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23).

The four groups of national treasures, which are being introduced for the first time to the capital city’s residents and visitors, include Co Loa copper drum and ploughshares, belonging to the Dong Son Culture dating back 2,500-2,000 years ago, discovered in the heart of Co Loa citadel in Dong Anh district; Thanh Mai bell, dated 798 AD, discovered in Bai Rong, Thanh Mai commune, Thanh Oai district, one out of ten of Vietnam’s Buddhist cultural records in 2006; the gray glaze ceramic lamp in the 16th century by Dang Huyen Thong, a well-known pottery artist in the Mac dynasty; and a unique Bat Trang worshipping ceramic product by Bat Trang pottery village in the 17th century. These are the national treasures preserved by the Hanoi Museum.

In addition to the four national treasures, the museum also displays a number of images and models of the remaining national treasures discovered in Hanoi, including a simulation of the Buddhist statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with a thousand eyes in Thanh An temple, Dao Xuyen village, Da Ton commune, Gia Lam district, dating back to the 16th century; the image of the trinity statues of Amitabha Buddha in Thay pagoda, Sai Son commune, Quoc Oai district, the earliest Amitabha Buddha statue in Vietnam reaching the highest standards of Buddhist design in the early 17th century; the 34 Buddhist statues of the Tay Son dynasty (late 18th century) in Tay Phuong pagoda, Thach Xa commune, Thach That district; and a model of Noi Binh Da communal house in Binh Minh commune, Thanh Oai District.

As a place with a long history and culture, Hanoi is also home to objects and antiques recognised as national treasures by the government. At present, Hanoi is preserving 12 national treasures, stretching from the Dong Son Culture to the Nguyen dynasty.

The collection of copper ploughshares discovered along with the bronze drum at Co Loa citadel. (Credit: hanoimoi.com.vn)

Among them, four treasures are kept at the Hanoi Museum and eight other treasures are located in the local relics, such as the 82 stone steles at the Temple of Literature and the statue of God Tran Vu - a god from the north who had repeatedly helped the Vietnamese fight off foreign aggression, at the relic of Quan Thanh temple, Quan Thanh ward, Ba Dinh district.

These national treasures mark the top level of technique and arts from the ancient Vietnamese people, as well as bearing various cultural-historic messages from the ancestors.

Because of the scattered presence, it is more difficult for the public to understand and admire the treasures of Thang Long - Hanoi.

Nguyen Tien Da, director of the Hanoi Museum, said that the museum was honoured to preserve four national treasures, together with the responsibility of preserving and promoting the value of national treasures to spread their true value.

This exhibition is one of the activities promoting the value of national treasures. They will be on display during the 2018 Lunar New Year so that visitors will have the opportunity to explore them. In 2019, when the museum will be inaugurating its new display area, it will restore and recreate these objects as souvenirs for visitors when visiting Hanoi.

On the occasion, Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports also held a meeting with individuals who have made great contributions to preserving Hanoi’s heritage.

The Hanoi Museum also launched a book entitled "Thang Long - Hanoi National Treasures," aimed at popularising the values of Hanoi heritages to the public.

Followed are several pictures of national treasures on display at the exhibition:

The 16th century gray glaze lamp by ancient artisan Dang Huyen Thong. (Credit: NDO)

The Thanh Mai bell, dated 798 AD, discovered in Bai Rong, Thanh Mai commune, Thanh Oai district. (Credit: hanoimoi.com.vn)

The 17th century Bat Trang worshipping ceramic product displayed at the exhibition. (Credit: hanoimoi.com.vn)

The simulation of the statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with a thousand eyes in Gia Lam district, dating back to the 16th century, considered to be a magnificent sculpture of the Mac dynasty. (Credit: hanoimoi.com.vn)