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08 October 2007 (Viet Nam News [Link no longer active]) – I wonder what the editor was thinking when he wrote the headline to the story.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Crazy guy digs up stuff, founds museum [Link no longer active]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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