In the morning of January 18, 2019, VNMH organized the opening ceremony of the Special Exhibition “Maritime Secrets from Ancient Shipwrecks” at No. 1, Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Panorama of Opening ceremony of Special Exhibition “Maritime secrets from Ancient Shipwrecks” on January 18, 2019
Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong, VNMH’s director giving speech at Opening ceremony
Attending the ceremony were Prof. Dr. Luu Tran Tieu - Chairman of the National Cultural Heritage Council; Mr. Nguyen Van Hoa, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee - President of the People's Committee of Kom Tum; Mr. Duong Trung Quoc - National Assembly’s member, General Secretary of Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences; Mr. Tran Chien Thang, former Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Mr. Phung Huy Can, Director of Emulation and Rewards Department; Mr. Pham Dinh Phong, Deputy Director of Cultural Heritage Department; Prof. Dr. Pham Mai Hung - Vice President of Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Van Tru, General Secretary of Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association; representatives of EFEO in Hanoi; Russian Cultural Science Center; representative of Vietnam record organization in the North; Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong – VNMH’s Director and leaders, former leaders of units under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; representatives of museums, relics and collaborators, retired officials with VNMH’s employees and the press agencies.
Delegates cutting opening band
With an area of about 600 m2, the Special Exhibition “Maritime Secrets from Ancient Shipwrecks” presents to the public nearly 500 objects dating back to the 13th-18th century. These were selected from the VNMH’s ceramics collection which have origin from Vietnam, Thailand, and China. There are four main contents: Vietnamese Sea and sea trading; Vietnamese commercial ceramics; Silk road on the sea; shipwrecks that were excavated from the Vietnamese Sea.
These artifacts were displayed at the exhibition entitled: “The Age of Discovery: Asian Ceramics Found Along the Maritime Silk Road”. They were co-organized by VNMH and the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage at Mokpo and Busan (Korea) from November 2017 to April 2018. This exhibition received the attention of Korean researchers and public.
These ceramics were goods on ancient merchant ships discovered in the South Sea - Vietnam, proving that Vietnam held an important position in international trade of the “Silk Road "on the sea. Moreover, with Chu Dau ceramic production center, Vietnam actively participated in the production and supply of exported goods all over the world in the 15th -16th centuries. Some restored products of the Chu Dau Ceramics Joint Stock Company are also introduced at this exhibition to honor the restoration and development of a unique traditional ceramic of Vietnam.
Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong – VNMH’s Director and representatives of some VNMH’s professional departments held a press conference.
This is the first time that VNMH has introduced to the public the largest number of ceramic artifacts from the six ancient shipwrecks of Binh Chau, Binh Thuan, Hon Dam, Cu Lao Cham, Hon Cau, and Ca Mau. The VNMH officially participated in their research and excavation. The excavation of these ships yielded many documents, artifacts, new insights on archaeological science, demonstrating the importance and strategic position of the Vietnamese sea in trade relations.
Blue and white vase with swan decoration, 15th -16th centuries (Cu Lao Cham ancient shipwreck) was recognized by the Prime Minister as a National treasure of phase 1 (October 1, 2012).
Giving his speech at the opening ceremony, Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong emphasized: “When organizing this exhibition, we defined the goals, meanings, and content to bring the best value to introduce Vietnamese history, country, and people. Especially from a maritime perspective, Vietnam is a sea country, participating very early in sea trade routes in the world. Along with it, through artifacts, we have introduced the formation and development of the international maritime trade route in which Vietnam also participated. In addition, we would like to emphasize and introduce the politics of protecting Vietnam's maritime sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes located in Vietnam's areas. It has been Vietnam’s management and administration from very far away.”
Delegates visiting the exhibition
This is an opportunity for domestic and international visitors to have more awareness about the history of foreign trade in Vietnam associated with the sovereignty of the sea and the Silk Road on the sea. The exhibition will be open to visitors for four months (from 18/1/2019 to 18/5/2019).
On this occasion, the VNMH organized the reception of two Peugeot bicycles, which were donated by Mr. Dao Xuan Tinh, a collector of Peugeot bicycles in France.