Hue to have new museum about the Huong River

A museum of ancient pottery will open at the end of this year in the central province of Thua Thien Hue. The museum will be filled with pieces collected by Vietnamese-born German Thai Kim Lan.

Hue to have new museum about the Huong River

Each artefact from the Huong River for Dr Thai Kim Lan has a cultural and historical trait. Photo Phan Thanh Hai

Over the past 30 years, Lan, Ph.D, has gone out of her way to collect more than 7,000 artefacts fished out of the Huong (Perfume) River, with the dream of setting up a museum to display the items.

“These artefacts reflect the history of the land," said Lan. "They will tell stories enabling us to better understand the cultural and historical value of the land.”

The Huong River Museum is being set up at Lan's ancestral temple on Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Street, Huong Long Ward. 

Lan had the idea for the museum three years ago. She decided to set up the museum at the ancestral temple, turning this place into a cultural space that tells the story of the Huong River.

"Everyone will contemplate the Huong River first, then go inside to view the artefacts. They will understand and cherish the culture and history of the river,” she said.

Over 30 years of collecting items from the water, she said that there isn't a river with such a dense layer of sediment.

There is evidence that some of the artefacts were from pre-historic times to the Champa period and Dai Viet culture onwards.

"All the artefacts have been researched," said Dr Nguyen Anh Thu, an archaeologist from the Hanoi University of Culture's Cultural Heritage Faculty. She was invited to assess and classify the items. 

"The thing to do is to select and display the artefacts so that visitors can visualise each stage of the Huong River."

The artefacts will be divided into four groups of Tien Sa Huynh - Sa Huynh; Champa, Dai Viet and foreign pottery. 

 

"I think with such a display it reflects the history of ancient capital Hue,” said Thu. 

That collection also contains foreign ceramics showing that trade was thriving and the demand for imported ceramics for Hue's aristocracy was enormous, according to Thu.

Hue to have new museum about the Huong River
Dr Thai Kim Lan's ancestral temple is set up to become a museum. Photo Phan Thanh Hai

Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho said that he knew a lot of people dedicated to researching antiquities of the Huong River including Lan.

When learning she wanted to build the Huong River Museum, he was very supportive and hoped that the opening of the museum would create a cultural symbol for Hue.

“I believe that together with other museums, the Huong River Museum will be a lively destination in Hue," said Chairman Tho.

"In the process, the local authorities will support and enable this museum to become an attraction and a site to publicise Hue.”

Lan and Thu are planning to compile a catalogue in different languages ​​to introduce and promote the museum. They expect to digitalise the museum in the future.

Source: Vietnam News

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