DA NANG — Researchers, scholars and scientists from India and Viet Nam will do their best in clearing up the ancient relationship between the two countries via a two-day conference on the Cham Civilisation.
|Bridge across time: The My Son Sanctuary, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is blessed with the extraordinary architecture, arts and religion of an ancient culture. — VNS PHoto Vu Cong Dien
The event will mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the India-Viet Nam Year of Friendship 2012.
The Indian Government has decided to fund the restoration and preservation of the My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province with US$3 million.
"The conference in Da Nang City is an opportunity for Vietnamese and Indian scholars, scientists and researchers to clear up the linkage between the two sides," said Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae.
"The My Son restoration project is very important for the friendship between Viet Nam and India," he told the conference.
The director of the Viet Nam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies, Nguyen Chi Ben, told Viet Nam News yesterday that the conference would focus on the influence of Cham culture in the central coastal region and the relationship between Viet Nam and India over past centuries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said, "The Cham people is one of 54 ethnic groups in Viet Nam. Their ancestors left a precious cultural treasure through relics in the central coastal region from Quang Binh to Ninh Thuan Province. One of the most extraordinary is the My Son Sanctuary, recognised as a UNESCO World heritage site and blessed with the extraordinary architecture, arts and religion of an ancient culture."
The minister said the conference aimed to strengthen ties and strategic co-operation between Viet Nam and India, thus promoting peace in the world.
General Director of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Suresh K Goel, stressed that the meeting would not only include discussions on culture, but also on political, technology and economic ties between the two sides.
"Cultural relics of the Cham culture left in the central coastal region of Viet Nam prove a linkage between Viet Nam and India since the seventh century," he added.
"I highly appreciate support from the Indian Government, but stress that the restoration of the My Son Sanctuary must be based on its original history and sediments," said professor Hoang Dao Kinh, member of the National Cultural Heritage Council.
"The vestige of time is the most precious thing in cultural heritage, so the restoration must preserve a strict rule of time and primitive status," he added.
The conference, which has drawn scientists and researchers from India, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam, closes today.
Participants will make a survey of the My Son Sanctuary before beginning restoration. — VNS