Promoting development of private museums in Da Nang

Update: 23/05/2023
Apart from public museums that are familiar to most of local residents, Da Nang is now home to 3 private museums that are storing and displaying thousands of rare and valuable artifacts. They are Dong Dinh Museum, the Museum of Buddhist Culture, the Non Nuoc Stone Carving Memory Museum. The presence of these museums helps to reduce the loss of the city’s antiquities, create more places for the public to access and enjoy cultural heritage, as well as create more tourist attractions for locals and tourists.

Nestled on the Son Tra Peninsula, the Dong Dinh  Museum is a beautiful and peaceful place to see wonderful works of art and valuable antiques. In the photo: The Mitsuba Preschoolers visiting the Dong Dinh Museum. Photo: PV

Storing valuable artifacts

Da Nang boasts best private museums in the country as these venues have their own distinctive figures, bear imprints of local culture or local unique cultural values.

Notably, the first Buddhist museum in Viet Nam is located on the 700m2 campus of the Quan The Am (Avalokitecvara) Pagoda, Ngu Hanh Son District. The museum opened its doors to the public in early 2016, and has become one of Da Nang’s most-visited tourist attractions.  

The museum is currently hosting hundreds of ancient artifacts about Buddhism in Viet Nam and some other Asian countries. It’s becoming a place of interest.

Most Venerable Thich Hue Vinh, the Abbot of the Quan The Am Pagoda, said that the museum boasts a collection of more than 500 ancient artifacts dating back to the 7th to 8th centuries, and many decades. These artifacts have been collected by the pagoda’s abbots over the past 20 years.

Besides, the museum is also storing many artifacts of rare and precious Buddha statues. Especially Buddha’s scriptures, In ancient times, cults, and more worshiped from the 7th century to the end of the 19th century and the 20th century.

“The antiquities displayed at the museum have all undergone evaluations and meticulous selection by the country’s leading experts in the archaeology industry. All of them boasts great spiritual and material values, and they need to be preserved and promoted  while further research on these artifacts is needed" said Most Venerable Thich Hue Vinh.

Nestled in the Son Tra mountain, the Dong Dinh Museum, the first-ever private museum opened in Da Nang in 2011, and it boasts unique cultural and artistic values. The owner of the museum is Meritorious Artist Doan Huy Giao, who is a nationally-renowned poet and documentary film director as well as a very ardent collector of antiques and art.

According to Mr. Le Dang Hai Long, the manager of the Dong Dinh Museum, the museum uses four spaces to display exhibits dedicated to memories of unique fishing village culture, antique galleries and an ethnographic area.

Currently, the museum displays more than 100 ancient artifacts and hundreds of items dating back up to 2,500 years, which showcase the rich cultural heritages of Sa Huynh, Champa, Oc Eo, Dong Son and Dai Viet. Apart from these antiques, the museum has also stored items from Vietnamese minority ethnic groups with the aim of preserving and promoting their remarkable cultural values. In particular, the museum boasts a collection of ancient ceramics and a diverse collection of Dai Viet ceramics from the Ly, Tran, Le Mac, and Nguyen dynasties.

Notably, the exhibition area dedicated to memories of unique fishing village culture showcases a collection of fishing nets, bamboo boats, and fishing tools used by fishermen of the Nam Tho Fishing Village that existed in Da Nang in the 15th century. These exhibits tell stories about how hard our ancestors worked to earn a living from the sea and how fishermen stored fish.

All exhibits are displayed in a natural and vivid way to depict the idyllic life of villagers of the ancient fishing village. “During Da Nang’s peak tourist season, the museum welcomes hundreds of visitors every month, especially foreigners and Vietnamese young people. Currently, the museum is rearranging its exhibition spaces with the aim of preserving the natural ecosystem and creating the closeness for the public to admire the museum’s architectural space, and explore local culture and history,” Long shared.

Creating most favourable conditions for private museums to develop

The guidelines and policies from the national and municipal governments have created the most favourable conditions for private museums to develop in Da Nang. However, these museums are now facing challenges due to their financial autonomy mechanism and a shortage of professional staff in order to maximize their development potential.

On the other hand, the owners of these museums are mostly museum amateurs. Therefore, the quality of these museums cannot be guaranteed without the support from specialized agencies.

Mr Ha Vy, the Deputy Director of the Municipal Department of Culture and Sports, remarked that focus has been on providing legal assistance and providing secure land rights to private museums in efforts to help them promote their development.

Furthermore, importance is attached to opening professional skills training courses for employees of these museums. Special attention is paid to encouraging collectors who are organizations and individual to open their own museums in favour of displaying antiques and fine arts.

The Da Nang government is committed to creating the most favourable conditions for organisations and individuals to collect and display artifacts and open private museums, thereby, limiting the loss of the city's antiquities, and contributing to promoting socialization in cultural activities, as well as creating diversity in cultural heritage promotion for identity of the city.

Reporting by Xuan Dung – Translating by H.L

Source: Da Nang Today - - May 22, 2023