One man’s obsession is another man’s museum

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08 October 2007 (Viet Nam News [Link no longer active]) – I wonder what the editor was thinking when he wrote the headline to the story. But yes, it almost seems as if the director of the Hoang Long Museum as a crazy-obsessed dude with a knack of spending every last cent in acquiring artefacts.

Crazy guy digs up stuff, founds museum [Link no longer active]
by Dieu Thuy

“The museum will belong to society.”
That is the desire of Hoang Van Thong, director of the Hoang Long Museum in Thanh Hoa, one of three private museums in Viet Nam.

Established on November 31, 2006 in his hometown, the museum was considered the eccentric brainchild of an otherwise normal engineer. He was someone who spent all his days, efforts and desires acquiring each and every valuable thing in the museum, to the point of leading his family and relatives to believe that he might be losing his mind.

“I was brought into this profession by chance. I remember when I came to Dong Thinh District for a project at Thanh Hoa Youth Union. We discovered lots of ceramic dishes and bowls with zig-zag patterns on them buried where we were clearing land. I became afraid of them, knowing they were ancient artifacts with spiritual value.

“And I knew that if I didn’t bring them home, they would be stolen or destroyed by the construction,” Thong said.

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Private museum displays antique collection in Thanh Hoa Province

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21 November 2006 (Vietnam News) – A private museum opens in Vietnam featuring antiquities.

Private museum displays antique collection in Thanh Hoa Province

Hoang Long Antique Museum, the first private museum in the central province of Thanh Hoa, officially opened its doors to the public at an inaugural ceremony on Sunday.

A 350sq.m area has been devoted to displaying nearly 1,000 antiques, reflecting the social changes that have shaped life in Thanh Hoa Province since early times.

The museum currently owns more than 5,600 articles, relics and some valuable collectibles, such as bronze drums, Dong Son ceramics, ceramics from the Ly and Tran dynasties, ancient jewelry and even cannons.

Related Books:
Art & Archaeology of Fu Nan by J. C. Khoo
Vietnamese Ceramics: A Separate Tradition by J. Stevensen, J. Guy and L. A. Cort

Largest Ngoc Lu style bronze drum cast

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09 November 2006 (Thanh Nien News, Vietnam Net Bridge) – Craftsmen have cast a replica of the Ngoc Lu bronze drum. Not exactly archaeological news, but bears some potential for future experimental archaeology.

Largest Ngoc Lu style bronze drum cast

The drum is 1.51m in face diameter, 1.54m in bottom diameter and 1.21m in height and it was cast in under eight months, said Hoang Van Thong, Director of the Hoang Long Antique Museum in Thanh Hoa.

The drum will be displayed at the Hoang Long Antique Museum as of November 19, on the occasion of the inauguration of the museum.

First private museum opens in Vietnam

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21 September 2006 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – First private museum showcasing artefacts from ancient Vietnam is opened.

First private museum opens

The Hoang Long Artifacts Museum in the central province of Thanh Hoa is owned by Hoang Van Thong, who has zoned off 500 sq.m of his own land to establish the first ever private museum in Vietnam. The exhibits range from earthenware from the Dong Son culture in the Bronze Age (from 1000 to 1 BC) and farming tools, weapons, household utensils and personal decorations and antique ceramics from the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties from the late 10th century to the late 18th century.

Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells