55-year-old local farmer Trương Văn Sửu unearthed the object on his farm in Nghi Lộc District and reported it to local administrators.
The square-shaped object is made of metal. On top are the figures of nine dragon heads huddling together, while its front and bottom surfaces imprint Chinese characters, like a Vietnamese king’s seal in the feudal period. It weighs around 1,6kg.
“Many antiques have been discovered by ordinary people during everyday life, discoveries that help protect Việt Nam’s cultural heritage,” Kiếm told Việt Nam News. “Our museum highly appreciates that the locals have entrusted us with the object.”
Kiếm said that the object has been handled according to Việt Nam’s Law of Cultural Heritage 2010. It has been sealed off and preserved in the museum’s store while the museum has the responsibility of submitting a report to the local Deparment of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
“The next stop involves the museum asking approval from the department and People’s Committee to establish a council, which comprises of members of council of national heritage and relevant local authorities, to verify its heritage and economic values. If the object is proved to be authentically precious, its preservation will be determined by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Based on its economic value, the discoverer will be awarded with an appropriate amount of money from the state budget,” he added.
However, Kiếm said that there was a shortage of scientific evidence to confirm the objects was authentic or not.
“At present I cannot answer any questions about its authenticity,” he said.
On the other hand, the recent discovery of the object, which is assumed to be an ancient king’s seal, has aroused much doubt from both antique specialists and collectors, mostly due to its roughly perfect appearance.
“I have never encountered a seal, which might be dated back to hundreds of years ago if it were really authentic, with such dubious perfection,” confirmed antique researcher Nguyễn Sử from Institute for Religious Studies in an interview with tiin.vn.
The specialist also argued that the characters inscribed on its surfaces were in the font of modern ones, which of course did not exist 100 years ago.
In fact, such antique-fake objects are popular on the market. Sử said the object is used in feng-shui with the purpose to long for good fortune and expel bad luck, and appeared just around 30 years ago. — VNS