A national museum is a special cultural institution of a country. It plays a role as the leading museum in orienting and influencing whole system of museums. It is a place where houses a numerous amount of objects, a powerful human resource, fundamental research projects, well-arranged exhibition system representing the core characteristics of the nation's culture, civilization and history in a wide geographical space and within a long history spanning from the ancient to the contemporary.
The Vietnam National Museum of History building, no.1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
With such function, the VNMH plays an important role in Vietnamese museums system. It has a duty to assist and provide customers the perspectives and approaches to the national political institutions in different historical periods in the most objective and balancing ways. It not only brings the public the informative values and understandings but also provides the contemporary politicians the comprehension of the national political history, thus, contributing to consolidate the relationships with other countries. With the museum's exhibitions and researches (excavations, studies and research)... people can get the knowledge about the history of Vietnamese state or government from the period of nation building to different development periods as well as the ethnography stories.
Displaying history and culture is also displaying ethnography and its elements. Vietnam has various ethnic groups, so, the study, introduction, conservation and preservation of the ethnography and cultural value must follow close to the history and development of the nation and territory. As our function, VNMH targets and always make priority the ethnography issues. We have made up collections and opening many exhibitions with topic of ethnography, such as topic of ethnography culture, ethnography civilization or the diversity in unification of a nation of various ethnic groups. Such activities have provided the audience general understandings about cultural values of communities or elements that forming the national civilization. Our collections of this topic is quite big and valuable, however, it is very pity that we still lack the collection of intangible values. In the contemporary development trends, the ethnography is a complicated matter for the countries themselves or among the countries. Balancing this matter and contributing to ease this matter by the museum's activities is surely a responsibility for the national museum.
The special exhibition of "The ancient ceramic statues of Vietnam", April 2014
In the museum's point of view, art is defined as the cultural-historical object which contains artistic values. In the VNMH, we are preserving many art products which are recognized as the representative for the art of the nation. The management and promotion of the art products, especially the ancient artwork, is paid much attention by the museum. We have introduced many artworks to local and international public through exhibitions, publishing and PR. However, we still lack time and energy for the collection and management of the contemporary artworks. It is our strategy and job for the future.
Overall view of the 4th Conference of ANMA, 10/2013
Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong - Director of VNMH delivered a welcome speech at the 4th Conference of ANMA, 10/2013.
So, it can say that the VNMH is a place housing and presenting the fullest and deepest historical records of Vietnam and deserving to be the leading museum of the nation to fulfill the duty of a cultural institution in balancing the political history, culture and ethnography.
Obviously, the topic of the ANMA5 is traditional but hot and political to the national museums. It is our mission to balance the political history, ethnography and art. We are cultural institutions, while culture is one of few ways that open for the countries to strengthen their co-operation.
With such understandings, I fully agree with the topic that the Chairman of ANMA 5 has put it up. I believed that the 5th Conference hosted by the Asian Civilization Museum will be successful and effective as those of previous ones.
Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong - Director of Vietnam National Museum of History
EN: Tran Trang