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Cham artifacts to be displayed at French museum (April 11, 2005)

Vietnamese curators at four museums are gathering their most valuable artifacts and sculptures representing the Cham culture in preparation for an overseas exhibition in France later this year.

Entitled “Vietnamese Art Treasures - Cham Sculptures”, the exhibition was initiated by French President Jacques Chirac and President Tran Duc Luong two years ago.

According to organizers, the French Guimet Museum, now the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet, will be the venue for the 69 Cham artifacts collected from four museums in Vietnam.

Invaluable artifacts

Cham exhibits showcased at the show will include the invaluable Indochina Buddha statue from the HCMC Historical Museum. The museum has already bought 5 million USD insurance for the statue.

Meanwhile, many priceless items from My Son Holy Land and the Cham Museum in Danang city will be insured between 1 and 3 million USD. The minimum insurance for items will be 20,000 USD.

Notably, 47 artifacts will be displayed to the public after five years of being restored by experts at the Phnom Penh and Danang Museums.

Expected success

This is the second time Vietnam has participated in a huge exhibition abroad. The first time was in 2004 to display 526 items at an exhibition entitled “Vietnam – Past, Present and Future” in Belgium and Austria. The show attracted 160,000 visitors.

According to an agreement signed by French Acting Minister of Foreign Trade Fransois Loos and Vietnamese Minister of Culture and Information Pham Quang Nghi last year, the necessary procedures to transfer the precious artifacts from Vietnam to France will start in October.

The exhibition will also symbolize a meaningful return of Cham artifacts to Paris after Cham artifacts had been showcased at the Guimet Museum 74 years ago in 1931.

“The French will be grateful to see such invaluable items,” said A. Willze, an official representing French-speaking countries.

Meanwhile, Jackie Menjes from the New South Wales Museum in Australia commented, “These exhibits will be very ‘hot’ for Europeans”.

Reprinted from THANHNIEN News


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