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Bảo tàng lịch sử Quốc gia

Vietnam National Museum of History

20/05/2014 14:25 1826
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Visiting the VNMH’s Exhibition Hall (1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi), people will see many antiquities in perfect forms. It is resulted from the efforts of people, who have to work hardly and silently to make the excavated objects naturally not perfect to be perfect. On occasion of the International Museum Day (18-5), we would like to tell about the stories shared by the collection and restoration professionals.

Dr. Vu Quoc Hien, former Deputy Director of VNMH said, in his first business trip (1977) to the excavation site of Giong Ca Vo relic, Can Gio district, Ho Chi Minh City: “This is a land-sea mound, the working time depends on the tide. We had to wake up at 4am, cooking water to make tea, having breakfast and buying the breads to reserve for lunch. After 2 months, I was scared of breads. Another forgettable thing is “mosquitoes”. All people had to wear jeans, burning the anti-mosquitoes incense to keep us from moving the body that might break the objects. The money for buying the incense is more than that of our salary”.

Dr. Vu Quoc Hien, former Deputy Director of VNMH talked about his first trip (1977) to the excavation site.

The objects secured in the Giong Ca Vo site, Can Gio district, HCM City, now exhibited in the VNMH.

Another story, he said: “In my trip during summer 1985, we came to Krong village (Cotu minorities) that is at the border of VietnamLaos. From Danang, we drove the car 40km, then walking on foot on Truong Son hill 200km for one week. We had to rest in the local people’s houses but we were nicely welcomed by them. The foot was mainly boiled cassava with a little of salt. When we were almost exhausted, I told the road leader: we will visit the Head of village for eating “protein”. Then at the Head’s house, we were served with wine and meat, but the meat was alive with maggots due to it was kept in the bamboo tube and put on the chimney. We were very scared of them but still ate because of hungry and keep the energy for walking forwards.

Besides the shortage of foods, we had to face difficulties in view of geography. Sometimes, it was the struggling for the life and the object.

M.A Nguyen Thi Thu Hoan (Head of Public and Education Department) shared a story about collectors Pham Hoang Manh Ha, Le Hoai Anh and Truong Dac Chien. “When we worked in the Central, it was very windy and sandy. Each day, we could be able to draw a few centimeter, the drawings were wrinkled but very important. When Pham Hoang Manh Ha was sitting next to a thorn mimosa, a strong wind blew out his drawings, he had to chase for it despite his pants and buttock were scratched”. Later when he was asked why to do so, he replied, “It is my effort, my sweat and tear. If I did not do that, it will go with the water”.

After collecting, the next important step is the restoration. The objects secured sometimes found in the original form, but they could be thousands of pieces broken. That condition requires the restorers must have a vast knowledge on the culture and history, and the qualities as hardworking, sophisticated and thoroughly.

Overall view of the talk

Artist Chu Van Ve - Vice Head of Collection and Study Department practiced the restorative processes

The items after restored

To recover one item, it must follow the precise steps and guarantee the reality of the object. Artist Chu Van Ve -Vice Head of Collection and Study Department, said: To restore one item, it takes 1 month normally, and 3 months for bigger one.

VNMH officers experience the restorative works

News/photos:Thu Nhuần, Nguyễn Hương

EN: Tran Trang

Viet Nam National Museum of History

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