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Huế displays royal golden books

Update: May, 10/2016 - 08:00
Sealed: A gold book displayed at the exhibition in the Huế Museum of Royal Fine Arts. VNS Photo Huê Phong
Viet Nam News

THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Visitors to the Museum of Royal Fine Arts in Huế are to get a chance to look at books transcribed on rectangle gold pieces, made for the adoration of the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945).

There are three gold books on exhibition, including two from the dynasty’s first emperor Gia Long, and another in the second era of King Minh Mạng. The gold books were made to record monarchic affairs and for chronicing the timeline of an emperor.

The Minh Mạng era’s gold book has six pages, each 27x14.8cm and 2mm thick. The book’s front and back covers are carved with dragon and phoenix patterns, which symbolises the king’s power. Under the dynasty, there were also bronze books with each page’s surface covered by gold.

The exhibition also displays some gold seals used for administrational affairs under the dynasty, including a 4.9kg seal used by emperor Minh Mạng. According to Phan Thanh Hải, director of the Huế Monuments Conservation Centre that manages the museum, the Nguyễn Dynasty created a total of 100 gold and gem seals.

This is the first time since 1945 that the books are to be displayed in the former feudal capital city of Huế, coming out from storage in the Việt Nam National Museum of History in Hà Nội. Visitors will be amazed at the luxurious look of the books as well as the sophisticated carvings on their covers.

Hải said the centre would organise a grand exhibition displaying almost all of the royal treasure in September. The current exhibition of gold books will remain on view at the museum until June 23. Entrance to the museum requires tickets. — VNS

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