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Valuable artefacts become national treasures

The Centre for Hue City’s Vestiges Preservation in the former imperial city has proposed that certain Nguyen Dynasty artefacts should receive National Treasure status.

The centre selected 54 of 8,400 objects that it will submit to the National Judgement Committee for review.

The artefacts, preserved at the Hue Royal Fine Arts Museum, include a throne of the country’s last monarchy, from which many Nguyen kings reigned and which now stands at Thai Hoa Palace; and the Cuu Long Tranh Chau, a unique wooden ball carved with nine dragons fighting for a pearl, dating to the early 20th century.

The museum also nominated a 20-tonne stele (an ancient stone slab) at the tomb of King Tu Duc; and nine urns, nine cannons, 10 cauldrons and a bell, all of which are bronze.

On the 2.5m high, two-tonne urns, which were cast in 1835, some 150 pictures are carved. The 5m long, 10 tonne cannons in front of the Ngo Mon Gate date to 1804. The two-tonne bell at Thien Mu Pagoda dates to 1710.

A range of clothing artefacts, including two royal robes of Nguyen kings that remain in the museum, were also suggested. One robe was used during a Nam Giao offering ceremony by King Minh Mang.

In addition to the Nguyen Dynasty artefacts, the museum manages more than 2,400 other objects inside the royal compounds, which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognised as World Heritage sites.

The 54 artefacts submitted make up a fraction of Hue’s treasures, one museum official said. The centre is preparing documents for other artefacts; and if all are approved, the city will have the most number of National Treasures.

VNS - (03/03/2005)

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