HÀ NỘI Hà Nội Museum, is gathering objects to prepare for its most profound permanent exhibition ever, according to Nguyễn Tiến Đà, director of the museum.
Đà said with a nearly 10,000sq.m area to fill, the museum has selected more than 70,000 objects and materials on the history of Thăng Long – Hà Nội.
The museum has received millions of visitors in the past ten years. VNS Photo Trương Vị
“This will be a diversified story on history with a larger amount of objects and materials than any other museum in the country,” he said.
Đà said the museum will feature the topic in both a chronicle exhibition and special topic display.
The collection will be divided into seven big themes, which include 25 minor topics like Nature, Journey to Thăng Long, Thăng Long Citadel in Đại Việt Era, Hà Nội in 19th Century and early 20th century, Revolution and Independence (1873-1954), War against the Americans (1954-1975), Building Socialism and Hà Nội on the Way to Renewal.
Each theme is demonstrated by various minor topics with a unique approach, like a new way to look on Hà Nội with Giảng Võ Martial Arts School, Vauban Citadel, Colonial City and Living Quarters in the City, Đà said.
In the garden outside the museum, reflections of the Old Quarter, village’s gates, rural schools and steam engines will be on display.
The museum will invest in hi-tech searching devices allowing people to learn more about the city’s economy, politics, history, culture, geology and science.
Nearly 100 short clips on the history of Hà Nội will be available in various languages.
“In our museum, the objects will tell the stories they experience with deeper and more profound characteristics than those in other museums,” he said.
Prof Nguyễn Văn Huy, deputy director of Centre for Cultural Heritage Research and Development, said the museum leaders worked with experts to change the normal way of exhibiting.
“I hope the new way in exhibiting applied in the museum will satisfy local audiences and tourists,” Huy said.
Searching for objects
In the past 10 years since its establishment, staff in the museum have travelled throughout the country to collect objects and donations of objects to the museum.
Quách Văn Địch, a resident in Long Biên District, has donated an ancient anchor dating back 600 years to the museum.
According to Đà, the anchor proves that in the past the Hồng (Red) River received bog trading ships from abroad.
From the size of the anchor, people can imagine the size of the river at that time and compare with it the present, he said.
“Without the anchor, the story dubbed 'A Nostalgia to Hồng River' would not be persuasive enough,” Đà said.
Đà met Địch three times to persuade him to donate the anchor to the museum.
Đà also recalled collecting carved wooden pieces in Chu Quyến Communal House in Ba Vì District in the western outskirts of Hà Nội.
“At first, elders in the village did not agree to give them to us,’ he said. “While the pieces were kept in a humid storehouse and had suffered mould and been eaten by termites.”
The carving patterns feature Mother Goddess worship with priceless flying horses, he said.
Finally, the museum decided to invite the village’s elders to attend a donation ceremony and see how the objects would be kept and displayed in the museum.
“They agreed to hand us the carving patterns after seeing how we take care of the objects,” he said.
Đà said there have been many other interesting stories in the collection of objects like the steam engine in Gia Lâm Train Factory and the steel bar to keep people from the railway at Hà Ninh Railway Company in the northern province of Nam Định.
Đà said the staff are sparing no efforts to open the exhibition in June next year.
The museum seen from Phạm Hùng Road. VNS Photo Trương Vị
The museum, established in 1982 and originally located in 5B, Hàm Long Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, has hosted thousands of objects on Hà Nội.
Its collection include stone, bronze, ceramic objects dating back to the Lý (1009-1225), Trần (1225-1400), Lê (1428-1527) and Nguyễn (1802-1945) dynasties and ancient imported ceramic from China and Japan.
In 2010, the city built a new premises for the museum near the National Conventional Centre in Nam Từ Liêm District.
The whole museum is located in a total area of 54.000 sq.m.
The museum was opened on October 6, 2010 and has hosted various exhibitions and events. VNS