Vietnam Opens First Museum of Buddhist Culture
Vietnam’s Buddhist Cultural Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time on 24 December last year—the first museum of its kind in the country. Located within the grounds of Quan The Am (Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva) Temple in the coastal city of Da Nang, the 500-square-meter (5,380-square-foot) museum showcases a collection of more than 500 Buddhist artifacts, including ancient documents, sculptures, and statues.
The museum was jointly inaugurated by the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and Quan The Am Temple in the presence of historian and deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Scientific History Association Duong Trung Quoc, vice chairman of the Da Nang Municipal People’s Council Nguyen Nho Trung, and hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns.
The temple’s head monk, Thich Hue Vinh, noted that the museum’s exhibits included items from the temple itself dating from the 7th century to the beginning of the 20th century. “The museum shows our aspiration to establish the first Buddhist cultural space for the public,” he said. “It also tells the history and development of Buddhism in Vietnam as well as the tangible and intangible value of antiquities.” (Viet Nam News)
“Many antiquities were stolen from pagodas in Quang Nam and other provinces, so the museum will act as a safe place to store the country’s treasures,” the monk added. (Viet Nam News)
Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien, deputy director of the Da Nang Museum, noted that the museum’s exhibits included a valuable “treasure house” of some 500 objects and more than 200 antiques that had been discovered unexpectedly at Quan The Am Temple.
According to the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper, the museum, constructed at a cost of some VND6 billion (US$270,000), would provide visitors with audio headsets offering a commentary in Vietnamese and English on the museum’s exhibits, which also feature a number of ancient Buddha statues donated from around the world.
Nguyen Dinh Chien, deputy director of the Vietnam National History Museum, said he was impressed by the rare and precious artifacts on display, observing that many of the antiques were national treasures. He highlighted a rare statue of a bodhisattva holding a baby in her arms carved from white jade and a set of eight bronze Buddha statues dating to the 9th century as being of particular note.
Historian Duong Trung Quoc praised the artistic value and historical significance of the museum’s collection, saying, “The museum will enrich the country’s cultural heritage. It should be display [sic] on the internet and Facebook to connect antiquities collectors, experts and the public.” (Viet Nam News)
“It’s been a great effort by archaeologists, experts, and monks at the pagoda to build the first-ever Buddhism museum in Vietnam with an extensive collection of statues and other exhibits,” he added. (Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper)
Buddhist museum opens to public (Viet Nam News)
Vietnam’s first Buddhism Museum in Vietnam opens in Da Nang (Vietnam Net Bridge)
Vietnam’s first Buddhist Culture Museum opens (Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper)