THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS) — Five invaluable royal items have been stolen from Khiem Lang Mausoleum in Thua Thien-Hue Province, the resting place of a Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) king
They included three rare porcelain jars and two 50kg bronze nghe statues. Nghe are mythical animals similar to dogs. Their statues are used ritually to drive ghosts away from homes, according to Vietnamese culture.
Watchmen at the mausoleum assumed the theft could have happened early yesterday. The case is under investigation.
According to Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, four watchmen were on night duty at the 457ha mausoleum at the time.
The stolen items dated to the Tu Duc era during the reign of the dynasty's fourth king, Duc Tong (1847-83). — VNS