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Nguyen dynasty documents get UN heritage status

Update: May, 15/2014 - 14:00
A page of royal document with comments and seals of Minh Mang King (1791-1841). -- Photo Courtesy of the National Archives Centre.

HA NOI (VNS) — A number of documents signed by Nguyen kings (1802-1945) stored at the National Archives Centre I, have been accorded heritage status by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The announcement was made on Wednesday at a meeting of the Asia Pacific Regional Committee for the Memory of the World Programme held in Guangzhou, China.

The archives are a valuable source for studying history, culture and the whole feudal court's activities as well as Viet Nam's society in the 19th century, said experts.

"The documents' source is a stock with distinguished values," Prof Phan Huy Le, chairman of the Viet Nam History Science Association said.

"First of all, the stock contains official documents signed by the kings with royal seals, which bear the highest legal value," he said.

"Secondly, the stock also contains reports from localities with exact dates that tell us the kings' attitude and decisions on various problems, which give us the exactness of the actual situation.

"Thus, these documents have double value, which reflect both actual situations and final policies of the court," he said.

The UNESCO has recognised three documentary heritage items of the Nguyen dynasty.

These are the wooden printing blocks kept at the National Archives Centre IV in central city of Da Lat, the Buddhism wooden printing blocks kept at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in HCM City and 82 stalea of doctors at the Literature Temple in Ha Noi. — VNS

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