Modern marvel: The unique architecture of Hà Nội Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum
Đinh Thuận Phương
Visitors to the capital city will be able to learn more about Thăng Long – Hà Nội's over 1,000-year history as city authorities have approved changes to the design and content of Hà Nội Museum.
After nine years of work on the building itself, the exhibits inside promise a comprehensive and appropriate showcase of the city’s history, culture and people.
“Changes to the museum were approved by officials by the end of February. This is a good sign for the museum and the city’s culture and people after many years of waiting and struggling with obstacles in finding the ‘soul’ for the museum,” Director of Hà Nội Museum Nguyễn Tiến Đà said.
Đà said compared to other museums in the capital, Hà Nội Museum was built later so it should have more innovative characteristics to attract visitors.
The displays, which are expected to be completed by next year, will focus on telling the story of Thăng Long – Hà Nội, from the formation of Thăng Long (former name of Hà Nội) in around 1010 to the present day. The story will be told through three exhibition spaces on the second, third, and fourth floors with themes such as ‘A Journey to Thăng Long’ and ‘Thăng Long during the Đại Việt Era’ and are expected to attract the most attention from visitors.
These exhibits will feature the formation and development of Thăng Long, its architecture and socio-economic life at that time, as well as the preservation, construction and development of Thăng Long until now.
Information on Hà Nội in modern times will highlight changes in lifestyle and development.
The city’s glorious history in the resistance war against the French and the Americans told through artefacts and models will also provide viewers with plenty of things to think about.
Although each space conveys a different topic, experts said the historical and cultural imprints of Thăng Long – Hà Nội are imbued throughout the Hà Nội Museum.
The outline and script for the displays were developed in consultation with French experts, adjusted to satisfy history and culture as well as the museum's capacity.
During the exhibition, the museum will not use reconstructed and restored artefacts, but recreated spaces will be built to offer real emotions for visitors.
In addition to the original exhibits, the displays use technological solutions, auxiliary materials, high-tech search tools and large digital screens.
Pieces of history: Hà Nội Museum is a top destination for visitors to the capital city. Photo nhandan.com.vn
Hà Nội Museum will innovate the museum experience with modern technology, according to Đà.
A total area of nearly 9,000 square metres will be set aside for the exhibition.
“Currently, work is focused on the implementation of a plan on detailed designs and contents,” said Đà.
The director said by the end of this year, the content would be completed to serve the overall design, which is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
Đỗ Minh Thu, a Hanoian who frequently visits museums in the city, said she was looking forward to visiting Hà Nội Museum to learn more about the capital city.
“Compared with other museums in the city, the number of artefacts and displays at Hà Nội Museum does match its scale. Hà Nội Museum has a very wide space with good facilities. Its interior architecture is also nice and impresses viewers. It is also wheelchair-friendly. Behind the main hall is a wide yard, a beautiful garden and lake,” Thu said.
In the past two years, Thu said she attended many exhibitions held by the museum in collaboration with other units and appreciated the quality and modern displays, such as exhibitions about biodiversity, new science and artistic photography.
“Such exhibitions held for between one week and one month may be interesting but when they finish, the museum is very quiet. It seems that no one is interested in the current display about Hà Nội as the content is not appropriate or attractive,” said Thu.
Thu expects the upcoming changes to make the museum more appealing.
“The number of items is not a problem since I know there are many artefacts about Hà Nội, such as those about people's life in subsidy economy, the city’s traditional handicraft villages and artworks," Thu added.
According to the overall plan, about 3,349 artefacts will be displayed. Among them 2,237 artefacts are already stored at the museum, while 1,112 will be donated from private collectors.
Museum officials said they have held campaigns to appeal for members of the public and collectors to contribute more items.
The displays will include artefacts, maps, movies and models.
The museum has prepared 307 presentations and 94 documentaries, and installed 14 interactive screens to convey more information to the public, according to a report from the museum.
It has also installed modern facilities including a system of diagrams, maps and models.
With these changes, it is hoped the museum will become a top tourist destination in the capital city and a prime source for knowledge on Hà Nội.
Hà Nội is a city rich in cultural heritage and a “cradle” of more than 5,000 cultural and historical relics. More than 2,000 relics have been recognised as national heritages and provincial heritage treasures.
The heritage items and sites are diverse, including pre-historic military architecture (An Dương Vương, built before 208BC); key areas from the resistance wars against the French and Americans; imperial architecture and artifacts from the Lý Dynasty (the 10th century) to the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945) and religious spaces, as Hà Nội is a centre of different religions including Buddhism, Mother Goddess worship and Catholicism.
Located on Phạm Hùng Street next to the National Conference Centre, and covering more than 50,000sq.m and 12,000sq.m for construction, Hà Nội Museum is the biggest and the most modern museum in Việt Nam.
The museum is among few museums in Asia listed in the most beautiful museums in the world, thus it is a must visit to appreciate the exhibits reflecting Hà Nội’s past and present.
The museum has six floors, with the floor area scaled down from top to bottom. It gives visitors a sense of the museum’s modern design. Tourists can go to other floors using the elevator or the spiral staircase inside the museum.
The museum is open from 8am to 5pm every day except Monday. VNS