A recent ban on ‘foreign’ non-Vietnamese lions has caused confusion among temple and heritage custodians; the aim behind the ban was intended to restore the purity of Vietnamese culture, but this move has met with resistance from people who (understandably) don’t want things to change, and staff who cannot distinguish between ‘local’ and ‘foreign’ lions.
Ministry orders removal of foreign-style stone lions
Viet Nam Net, 13 January 2015
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism held a workshop to review a regulation handed down five months ago that bans foreign-style symbols, sculptures and worship objects unsuitable for Vietnamese culture.
The ministry has been targeting foreign-style lion statues so far, but aims to eventually fine people for and remove other items, such as lanterns and other animal statues. Many participants at the workshop yesterday in Ha Noi supported the regulation.
“In the past 20 years, together with open-door policy, many foreign-style symbols, products and animal sculptures have been widely-spread throughout the country, distorting traditional spiritual images,” said Vi Kien Thanh, head of the ministry’s Fine Arts Department, “That’s why the ministry issued the regulation.”
More than ten spoke at the workshop to review the first five months spent implementing the new law, Document No. 2662.
Full story here.