Last update: 16:06 | 29/03/2018
VietNamNet Bridge – Da Nang City’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Island district opened the Hoang Sa Museum to the public in a ceremony yesterday, marking the 43rd anniversary of the city’s Liberation Day (March 29).
Living history: These men lived on and protected Hoang Sa Island between 1959 and 1974. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh
The museum, built on nearly 1,300sq.m along coastal streets of Hoang Sa-Truong Sa-Vo Nguyen Giap in the Son Tra Peninsula, displays artifacts and documents on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands.
It opens from 7.30am to 11.30am, and from 1.30pm to 5.30pm daily.
The shape of the museum, which was inspired by a seal made for the Hoang Sa Flotilla during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty’s King Minh Mang in 1835, was designed by Vietnamese architects Tran Quoc Thanh and Nguyen Quang Huy and Japanese architect Fuminori Minakami.
The design is an image of the 1835 seal, which officially founded the Hoang Sa Flotilla. It was a stamp of authority for Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, recorded in ancient documents from previous centuries.
“It’s a significant landmark for the city in showing legal evidence and documents about Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes,” said chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, Huynh Duc Tho.
He said the museum will offer opportunities for tourists and local residents studying Hoang Sa Archipelago history with vintage documents, photos and artefacts.
The chairman said a textbook on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagos has been included in the curriculum at junior secondary and high-school education system.
Secretariat of Hoang Sa Island District’s Le Phu Nguyen said the district has received a collection of 150 maps published between 1618-1859, and 1626-1908. Of which, many show evidence that the Paracel and Spratlys archipelagoes belong to Vietnam, and 102 books published in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and the Han Chinese script showing the frontier of Southern China is Hainan Island.
Nguyen also said the district plans to display a shipwreck in the museum’s backyard. The vessel was rammed by Chinese boats in Vietnamese waters off the Hoang Sa Archipelago in 2014.
Last year, Hoang Sa District People’s Committee held a meeting of 12 people who lived, worked and fought for the archipelago from 1959-1974. Hoang Sa was illegally seized by Chinese forces on January 19, 1974.
Last year, American-Vietnamese collector, Tran Thang, donated to Hoang Sa Island District the Pattie De La Conchinchine, an 1827 map printed in the six-volume World Atlas by late Belgian cartographer Phillippe Vandermaelen.
The Pattie De La Conchinchine map indicated the central region was part of Annam (a French protectorate encompassing the central region of Vietnam) and Hoang Sa (Paracels) was under the sovereignty of Vietnam from at least the 19th century onwards.
From the sky: An aerial photo of Hoang Sa (Paracel) Island of Vietnam. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh
Primary source: A copy of an old map drawn by Jodocus Hondius I (the Netherlands) in 1613. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh
Teach the youth: Young people visit Hoang Sa Museum in Da Nang City. It opens daily from Monday to Friday. — VNS Photo Le Lam
On display: The central city of Da Nang inaugurates the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Island Museum in a ceremony yesterday. The museum contains collections of old maps, photos and documents about Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagos. — VNS Photo Le Lam