|The rickshaw used by Queen Mother Tu Minh, mother of King Thanh Thai (1879-1954), which has been bought by the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre and will be exhibited in Hue soon. — Photo phunuonline.com
HA NOI (VNS) — The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre has just bought a rickshaw used by Queen Mother Tu Minh, mother of King Thanh Thai (1879-1954), at an auction held in Paris.
The vehicle was bought for EUR45,000, excluding a 24 per cent fees (VND1.5 billion, or US$71,400), the centre's Director Phan Thanh Hai said.
The rickshaw, which was in France for more than 100 years, will be displayed at an exhibition in the Hue royal citadel on April 22.
According to experts, the rickshaw is a valuable piece of fine art. It was made by a group of artisans from the north, and inlaid with delicate decorations of mother-of-pearl.
"The rickshaw was a gift from King Thanh Thai to his mother," Hai said. "After the king was dethroned by the French as he acted against the French invaders, the rickshaw was sold in the market. A Frenchman, who was the head of the royal guardian team, bought the rickshaw. After 100 years, the rickshaw appeared again in an auction in Paris on June 13 last year."
Hai further said the centre would display to the public the historic value of the royal object, and that its purchase was the first step in bringing back several missing valuable objects.
At the same auction, a bed used by King Thanh Thai was bought by one of the king's descendants Ta Van Quang, who is living overseas and will transport it to Viet Nam soon.
The bed was bought for VND3 billion.
Hai hopes to ask overseas Vietnamese people to help buy missing antiques to bring them back home.
The rickshaw is scheduled to be displayed at Dien Tho Palace in Hue on April 22, together with some other royal artefacts. — VNS