|Precious history: Director of the General Museum of Central Quang Ngai Province, Le Hong Khanh (right) receives a replica of a Nguyen dynasty woodblock from director of the National Archive Centre IV Nguyen Xuan Hung. — Photo nld.com.vn
QUANG NGAI (VNS) — A replica of a Nguyen dynasty woodblock confirming Viet Nam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands has been given to the General Museum of Central Quang Ngai Province by the National Archive Centre IV.
The replica is made of composite plastic and is the same size as the original.
Inscription on the woodblock says, "Ly Son Island, located in the East of Ly Son seaport, traditionally called Cu Lao Re (Re Island), the place that is high on the surrounding and low at the centre and belongs to Vinh An and An Hai District.
The Hoang Sa Islands are located to the east of Ly Son Island. From Sa Ky beach sailing to Hoang Sa, if the wind is favourable, it takes only three or four days to get to the island... There are over 130 small islands which are 24 hours or several days away from each other. On the islands lies a thousand miles of golden sandbeaches. There are also fresh water wells, flowing streams and seabirds gathering."
The content on the block is seen as evidence of Viet Nam's early control over offshore archipelagos, as well as affirming the country's sovereignty over the Paracels (which were totally and forcibly taken by China in 1974), and the Spratly islands as well.
"This is the first time Quang Ngai has received such a precious historical document that contains reliable information on the Paracel and Spratly islands," said Nguyen Dang Vu, director of Quang Ngai Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.
"The woodblock's dimension are 39 x 21.5cm and belongs to the Nguyen dynasty's Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi (History of the Unification of Great Viet Nam) collection, which has been recognised by UNESCO as a Memory of the World."
The museum has also co-operated with the Culture Heritage Association to open a display room, entitled Viet Nam Antiques, displaying 500 antiques found in archaeological excavations on shores and under water.
The exhibition will continue until January 10. — VNS