The treasures of Vietnam’s Forbidden City

A feature on the royal treasures (quite literally) of the Nguyen Dynasty in their seat of power – Hue.

Old aerial photo of The Forbidden City of Hue. Source: Vietnam Net 20160208
Old aerial photo of The Forbidden City of Hue. Source: Vietnam Net 20160208

Discover the “treasures” of antiquities in Hue Citadel
Vietnam Net, 08 Feb 2016

The last feudal dynasty of Vietnam in Hue City went through many historical events. Tens of thousands of rare artifacts of the Nguyen Dynasty have been lost.

According to Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Centre for Conservation of Hue Monuments, from the eighteenth century, the nobility of Hue was interested in collecting antiques and purchasing valuable items.
Researcher Phan Thuan An said that in the golden age of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), palaces and temples in the royal citadel as well as the tombs were decorated with and stored a lot of precious objects, which were the most valuable things in the country.

Working for years in the colony, Robert R. de la Susse is a French official who had deep understanding of and loved Vietnamese culture. In an opportunity to visit the Hue royal citadel in the early 1910s, after seeing artifacts in Can Chanh and Phung Tien palaces, he called these places “museums”.

Full story here.

Royal Vietnamese rickshaw comes home

A rickshaw used by a kind of the Nguyen Dynasty has returned to Vietnam this week, after having been won in an auction last year in Paris thanks to local funds.

King Thanh Thai's rickshaw. Source: Thanh Nien News 20150408
King Thanh Thai’s rickshaw. Source: Thanh Nien News 20150408

Hue bringing home royal rickshaw from France, hopes to retrieve plundered relic
Thanh Nien News, 08 April 2015

A royal rickshaw that Hue conservation authorities have retrieved from France after more than a century is coming home this month, and it might inspire more efforts to get back the other rickshaw and more lost antiques.

Phan Thanh Hai, director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, said the rickshaw would arrive in Vietnam on April 14 from the Vietnamese embassy in France which has the relic now.

The rickshaw was made by King Thanh Thai, the 10th emperor of Vietnam’s last dynasty, the Nguyens, who ruled in Hue, for his Mother Queen Tu Minh.

Thanh Thai, who ruled from 1889 to 1907, was known as a patriotic king and was one of three rulers – including his predecessor Ham Nghi and his son Duy Tan – to be dethroned and banished for opposing the French colonizers.

Full story here.

Nguyen Dynasty records support Vietnamese maritime claims

Records dating to the Nguyen Dynasty strengthen Vietnam’s claim over the Spratley and Paracel islands.

Source: Viet Nam News 20140803
Source: Viet Nam News 20140803

Nguyen-era documents back sea claims
Viet Nam News, 03 August 2014
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Nguyen Dynasty documents added to UNESCO Memory of the World

A set of administrative documents signed by the kings of the Nguyen Dynasty become the fourth property from Vietnam to become inscribed into the UNESCO Memory of the World list.

Source: Viet Nam News 20140730
Source: Viet Nam News 20140730

Nguyen Dynasty’s royal documents get heritage status
Viet Nam News, 30 Jul 2014
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Hue Relic Preservation Center seeks return of artefacts

The Hue Relic Preservation Center is seeking the return of Nguyen Dynasty artefacts that were sold at an auction earlier this month.

Nguyen Dynasty Bed. Source: Thanh Nien News 20140625
Nguyen Dynasty Bed. Source: Thanh Nien News 20140625

Vietnam urged to take back royal treasures from France
Thanh Nien News, 25 June 2014
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Nguyen Dynasty records added to the Memory of the World register

A set of records from Vietnam’s 19th century Nguyen Dynasty have been added into Unesco’s Memory of the World Register.

Nguyen Dynasty records added to the Memory of the World Register. Source: Thanh Nien News 20140516
Nguyen Dynasty records added to the Memory of the World Register. Source: Thanh Nien News 20140516

UNESCO recognizes Vietnam’s 19th century royal records
Thanh Nien News, 16 May 2014
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Archaeologists excavate tomb in Southern Vietnam

Excavations are underway to uncover a 18th or 19th century tomb in Vietnam’s Ben Tre Province.

Source: Vietnam News 20140428
Source: Vietnam News 20140428

Excavation begins of ancient Ben Tre tomb
Viet Nam News, 28 April 2014
Continue reading “Archaeologists excavate tomb in Southern Vietnam”