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Ho Chi Minh City's new museums unveil Nguyen Dynasty treasures

Ho Chi Minh City's new museums unveil Nguyen Dynasty treasures

Sunday, June 16, 2024, 17:30 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City's new museums unveil Nguyen Dynasty treasures
Vietnamese antique collector Do Hung briefs visitors on artifacts from Vietnam's Nguyen Dynasty at his museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Two private museums were inaugurated in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday, providing visitors and local residents with spaces to admire antiques from Vietnam's Nguyen Dynasty royal palace and jewelry collections from 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups.

Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum is located on the ground floor of the building at 68 Nguyen Hue Street in District 1, while Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum covers the eighth and ninth floors of the same edifice. 

The museums, which belong to the Do Hung Museum system, showcase thousands of items collected over the past 30 years by Vietnamese antique collector Do Hung in the hope of preserving and promoting antiques by introducing them to the public.

Vietnamese antique collector Do Hung instructs visitors about artifacts from Vietnam's Nguyen Dynasty at his museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Vietnamese antique collector Do Hung briefs visitors on artifacts from Vietnam's Nguyen Dynasty at his museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, June 15, 2024. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

According to Hung, Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum features items dating back more than 2,500 years to the 20th century of the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups.

The venue aims to introduce the intertwined, vibrant, beautiful, and diverse cultural nuances of the Vietnamese peoples to international friends, Hung said.

Clothes and jewelry from Vietnamese ethnic groups are displayed at the Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Clothes and jewelry from ethnic groups are displayed at Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Jewelries from the Vietnamese Thai ethnic group are displayed at the Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Jewelry pieces from the Thai ethnic group are displayed at Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Meanwhile, Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum showcases a range of artifacts from the Nguyen royal family, including clothing, jewelry, and daily items used by princes and princesses, as well as pieces related to the operation of the dynasty (1802-1945).

A hammock for a prince from the Nguyen Dynasty is displayed at the Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

A hammock for a prince from the Nguyen Dynasty is displayed at Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

A dining utensil set from the Nguyen Dynasty is displayed at the Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

A dining utensil set from the Nguyen Dynasty is displayed at Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Ivory products from the Nguyen Dynasty are displayed at the Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Ivory products from the Nguyen Dynasty are displayed at Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

Since a lot of precious artifacts are owned by foreigners, many of the items displayed were acquired by Hung from auctions abroad, including antiques from the reign of Emperor Kien Phuc, who ruled for approximately eight months from 1883 to 1884.

Besides putting effort in collecting antiques, Hung had also spent around ten years visiting museums around the world to learn about their techniques before launching his own museums.

Hung's passion for collecting antiques was ignited in his youth when he discovered some ancient coins.

Since then, the young man developed his interest further and delved deeper into the field, embarking on a journey of extensive collecting and research into Vietnam's history, culture, and art, despite facing challenges in accessing historical documents.

He now owns a huge collection of antiques stored at a site of more than 2,000 square meters in area in Hoc Mon District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Hung revealed that the number of items displayed at the two newly-opened museums is only 20-25 percent of his collection. 

Jewelries from the Vietnamese Kinh ethnic group are displayed at the Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied

Jewelry pieces from the Kinh ethnic group are displayed at Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied

Jewelries from the Vietnamese ethnic groups are displayed at the Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied

Jewelry pieces from ethnic minorities are displayed at Vietnam's 54 Ethnic Groups Jewelry Museum in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Supplied

Hung's museums are open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm every day, with tickets fetching VND250,000 (US$9.82).

At the Nguyen Dynasty Artifacts Museum, visitors can dress in Nguyen Dynasty costumes for photos on replicas of the king's throne, the queen's palanquin, and the queen's carriage.

Visitors are permitted to take photos throughout the museum, as long as they do not disturb the displayed artifacts.

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Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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