Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Experts from the Việt Nam Museum of Fine Arts have successfully restored four heavily damaged paintings from the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum in Laos.
The works were handed over to the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum yesterday in Hà Nội.
The paintings include Portrait of Prince Souphanouvong (1909 – 95), oil on canvas by a Russian painter (1976); Portrait of Fidel Castro painted on paper by Lal Varez (1980); Hạ Long Bay, painted on silk by Trần Đông Lương (1925-1993) and Portrait of Lenin, painted on wood by an anonymous artist (1979).
Sing Thong Sing Hapannha, head of the Lao Museum, said he appreciated the efforts and kindness of the staff of the Việt Nam Museum of Fine Arts.
“These paintings are very important for us because they are gifts from heads of states to leaders of Laos,” he said. “They have been displayed at the exhibition area of the museum, however they have been damaged seriously due to the time, weather and poor condition of preservation."
In 2017, leaders of the two museums signed an agreement to co-operate in restoring the paintings and to enhance their partnership. The agreement is an example of the solidarity and friendship between the two museums and two peoples, according to Nguyễn Anh Minh, director of the Vietnamese museum.
“We will help repair other artworks of the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum which are currently in storage,” Minh said. “The four paintings are given priority because they are displayed at the exhibition area.”
“In the near future, Vietnamese specialists will go to the museum to restore other paintings and help train the staff,” said Minh.
Trần Dũng Tiến, director of the Centre for Art Conservation (Việt Nam Museum of Fine Arts), which repaired the paintings, said they were cracked on their surface and had mould due to being stored in a high-moisture environment.
“Actually many Vietnamese artworks are in a bad situation,” said Tiến. “We have received technical support from experts of Asia Link (Australian centre for the promotion of public understanding of the Asian countries) and Dresden University of Technology (Germany).”
“We gained much knowledge and experience from foreign specialists, helping us to restore the paintings of the Kaysone Phomvihane Museum.”
“We removed the blemishes, healed the cracks and strengthened the paintings by pasting on additional layers of the same material. We also used chemicals and special techniques to make the surface more stable.” — VNS