return icon

Public museums sluggish in the race for antiques

 VietNamNet Bridge – The race for antiques is very tough among state museums, private museums, collectors and antique brokers. In this race, the weakest are state museums.

VietNamNet Bridge – The race for antiques is very tough among state museums, private museums, collectors and antique brokers. In this race, the weakest are state museums.


Royal antiques.

State museums are said to be slow in the race for collecting antiques so many valuable objects have belonged to individual collectors, who are more agile and willing to pay highly. The situation is predicted to be worse for state museums in the future. Meanwhile, the directors of museums are said to break the law without being aware of their violations.

State museums are always slow ...

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism – Ms. Dang Thi Bich Lien – said at a recent seminar, that profit from trading antiques is equivalent to that from drugs so it is very hard for public museums to collect antiques.

Director of the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts – Mr. Phan Van Tien -- said that the collection of artifacts was relatively favorable in the early years of the museum, with many artifacts of good quality collected. As time goes on, this task has becomes more difficult, especially since the country’s international integration. The museum now has to severely compete with Vietnamese and foreign collectors and in many cases, it had to see valuable artworks sold to collectors at high prices.

Tien said that the participants in the art market are increasing, with huge financial resources. Therefore, many valuable works of Vietnam have been sold abroad. "Many paintings by Vietnamese artists are sold in Australia or Singapore with prices up to 30-50 times higher than the prices in Vietnam. For example, a silk painting by Nguyen Phan Chanh was recently auctioned for up to $360,000. Public museums of Vietnam cannot afford to pay that price," Tien said.

Photo: Imperial treasures in a display at the Museum of Vietnam History.

Many museum directors said that searching for and purchasing exhibits for museums is like a race to save the life of this institution. The race is fierce and state museums are under strong competition from collectors, private museums and brokers. Meanwhile, museums can only display original items.

The competition is tougher for public museums when their employees are attacked by commissions from collectors in case they tell collectors about the antiques that the museums plan to buy.

Mr. Nguyen Van Phong - Deputy Director of Bac Giang Province Museum -- said that the complicated financial procedures for purchasing exhibits applied at state museums is a problem. Phong several times failed to buy rare items just because he had to wait for the approval of the higher authorities for the price of antiques.

According to the current financial mechanism, state agencies have to get permission for purchasing assets worth over VND100 million ($5,000). Therefore, to buy valuable artifacts, it takes state museums a lot of time to complete the procedure.


... and will be slower





Many public museums said that the currently slow exhibit collection process will be slower if they fulfill the seven steps proposed by the Heritage Agency in a draft circular on the collection of artifacts of public museums, which will take effect from November 2013

The seven steps include: organizing surveys, collecting information about the artifacts, making purchasing plan to submit to the museum director or the higher authorities, evaluating the exhibits, defining the price, etc.

Deputy Director of the Heritage Agency, Mr. Nguyen Huu Toan, said that without specified regulations on collection of artifacts for public museums, any museum director can be arrested and jailed because they buy antiques indiscriminately, without documents and procedures.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism – Ms. Dang Thi Bich Lien, confirmed that it is unable to purchase artifacts for a state museum without paperwork because the artifacts are bought by state fund, meaning people’s taxes. To spend the state money, museums must comply with state regulations.

Thus, public museums are and will still be slow and weak in competing with individual collectors to purchase valuable artifacts from the people.

Tien Phong


French Development Agency pledges more support for projects in Vietnam

The French Development Agency (AFD) will increase its support and donations for projects funded by French non-governmental organisations and associations in Vietnam.

Vietnam seeks stronger education partnership with US

Minister of Education Nguyen Kim Son on September 25 concluded his US working trip that aimed to strengthen education partnership between the two countries.


Central localities likely to be hit by typhoon Noru

AI integration the inevitable path ahead

Big Data and AI will be the optimal tools to run factories in the future and digital transition will help firms optimise costs and cut emissions.

Ministry to scrutinise VietGap certifications after fake labels found on vegetables

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is investigating reports of vegetables sold in supermarkets being marked with fake Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGap) labels.

E-commerce sector in dire need of qualified candidates

The tight supply of qualified candidates in the labour market is a glaring issue facing e-commerce firms, according to insiders.

Unique green moss-covered homes of the Tay Con Linh mountain range

It is an ideal environment for plants to flourish and thrive, including thick green moss, which ethnic people use to cover the palm-leaf roofs of their homes.

Farmers save wild birds and the environment

Farmers in different provinces throughout Việt Nam have for years spent time and effort to save wild birds, giving them a home to nest and lay eggs.

Deputy PM highlights significance of int'l solidarity, cooperation at UN session

The strengthening of international solidarity and cooperation is key to addressing interlocking global challenges, affirmed Permanent Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh while addressing the general debate of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Huge potential for luxury real estate in Vietnam

The branded residence market is gaining a stronger foothold in the Vietnamese market with potential to further develop, shaping the lifestyle of the country’s elite, according to experts.


Action plan to promote green growth in agriculture

Vietnam’s economic growth counts on high-tech FDI

Vietnam’s economic growth has been accelerating in 2022, with experts considering high-tech foreign investments as a driver.

The “seven-star” islands in Quang Ninh

Along with crystal blue sea and beaches, the 7 Sao (seven star) islands also have caves and primeval forests.

Customs you only see in Vietnam

The travel site Culture Trip has listed a number of Vietnamese customs that often surprise foreign tourists:

Investors and buyers play waiting game in credit switch

The State Bank of Vietnam finally created extra credit room for some banks on September 7. However, the extension is deemed low and may not help real estate businesses and homebuyers access feasible capital sources for their projects.