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Private collector presents antiques to museum (December 06, 2004)

Private antique collector Pham Ngoc Dung, Hanoi, has donated more than 400 artefacts to various museums and art colleges.

Collector Pham Ngoc Dung.
Ngoc Dung is primarily a collector of ceramics, although his family owns a large assortment. While not a professional dealer, having various jobs including writing screenplays and acting, most of his money is used to purchase more antiques.

Mr Dung owns around 1,800 pieces, but has donated 76 items to the Women’s Museum, 150 to the HCM City Culture and Art College, 43 to the Folk Culture Institute, and 150 items to the Museum of Ethnology. The valuable items include jars, vases, bowls and dishes from the Ly, Tran and Le dynasties.

Mr. Dung said of his donations, “Foreigners have returned a lot of indigenous antiques from overseas. They even help us to preserve Vietnamese culture. So, why couldn’t a normal collector like me do the same? Preserving antiques is to keep part of our heritage, not letting them disappear over time. I want to share my passion with everyone.”

Mr Dung says he often finds precious antiques quite by accident. In 1983, while travelling through Xuan Mai in Hoa Binh Province, he stopped at a roadside tea stall. There he spied some ancient ceramic bowls being used to prop up a table. He purchased the bowls for a pittance, the lowly tea stall owner being gypped out of some valuable Ly dynasty bowls.

Reprinted from VietNamNet


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