HCMC museum shows off never-before-seen artifacts

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From left to right: a ceramic vase made in Vietnam in the early 20th century, a ceramic ewer made in Vietnam in the 15th century, and a ceramic vase made in China in the 19th century. Photos: Thao Vi

Some 250 artifacts, most of them never before shown in public, are on display at the Ho Chi Minh City History Museum.

The items on show at the “A 40-year collection of artifacts” exhibition include a gemstone earring in a skull dating back 2,500 years, a bronze jar from the 1st-3rd centuries, and ceramic oil lamps from the 19th-20th centuries.

They have been excavated, gifted, or bought over the past 40 years.

While most of the items belong to Vietnamese cultures, some are from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Laos, and Myanmar.

After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the new government took over the museum from the US-backed Saigon regime and increased the number of items from 5,000 to the current 37,000.

The exhibition will run until October 31 at the museum at 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1 (inside the zoo gate, to the left).

Stone axes dating back to 3,000-4,000 years ago excavated in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum in 2000.

Stone axes dating back to 3,000-4,000 years ago excavated in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum in 2000.

A gemstone earring embedded in a skull around 2,500 years old from the Dong Nai Culture. It was found during an excavation in Ho Chi Minh City's outlying district of Can Gio in 1995.

A gemstone earring embedded in a skull around 2,500 years old from the Dong Nai Culture. It was found during an excavation in Ho Chi Minh City’s outlying district of Can Gio in 1995.

Gemstone beads from the Dong Nai Culture dating back to 2,500 years ago. They were excavated in Can Gio District in 1995.

Gemstone beads from the Dong Nai Culture dating back to 2,500 years ago. They were excavated in Can Gio District in 1995.

A bronze jar from the 1

A bronze jar from the 1

st– 3rd centuries.

Vishnu, the second god in the Hindu triumvirate. This earthenware statue made in India in the 5

Vishnu, the second god in the Hindu triumvirate. This earthenware statue made in India in the 5

th-6th centuries was donated by a New Zealand couple in 2014.

(Top) A bronze statue of Avalokiteśvara, a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. This 7

(Top) A bronze statue of Avalokiteśvara, a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. This 7

th century statue belongs to the Champa Civilization.

(Below) A crown made of gold, silver, and gemstone by the Champa in the 8th– 9th centuries.

A pair of silver palanquin hooks made in Cambodia in the 12

A pair of silver palanquin hooks made in Cambodia in the 12

th-13th centuries.

A Buddha statue made in Laos in the 17

A Buddha statue made in Laos in the 17

th-18th centuries.

A wooden Buddhist monk from the 18

A wooden Buddhist monk from the 18

th century (left) and a wooden Tutelary God statue from the 19th century.

A statue of a worshiper made from crimsoned and gilded wood in Myanmar in the 19

A statue of a worshiper made from crimsoned and gilded wood in Myanmar in the 19

th century.

A bronze incense burner from the 19

A bronze incense burner from the 19

th century.

Gold necklaces and bracelets made by the Champa in the 19

Gold necklaces and bracelets made by the Champa in the 19

th century.

A ceramic basin made in Japan in the 19

A ceramic basin made in Japan in the 19

th century.

A bronze stove from the late 19

A bronze stove from the late 19

th century.

An ashtray (left) and a lighter from the late 19

An ashtray (left) and a lighter from the late 19

th century.

A bronze censer from the late 19

A bronze censer from the late 19

th century.

A king's robe from the 19

A king’s robe from the 19

th-20th centuries.

A candleholder from the 19

A candleholder from the 19

th-20th centuries.

A wooden shrine with ancestral tablets from the 19

A wooden shrine with ancestral tablets from the 19

th-20th centuries.

Ceramic oil lamps from the 19

Ceramic oil lamps from the 19

th-20th centuries.

Ceramic oil lamps from the 19

Ceramic oil lamps from the 19

th-20th centuries.

Glass oil lamps from the 19

Glass oil lamps from the 19

th-20th centuries.

Small statues depicting the legend of carps transforming into dragons made of ceramic in Saigon in the 19

Small statues depicting the legend of carps transforming into dragons made of ceramic in Saigon in the 19

th-20th centuries.

A pair of horse-shaped bronze censers from the 19

A pair of horse-shaped bronze censers from the 19

th-20th centuries.

A mandarin statue made from gilded wood in the 19

A mandarin statue made from gilded wood in the 19

th-20th centuries (front), a Buddha statue made from gilded wood in the 19th century (behind), and Dvarapala statues made from lacquered wood in the 19th-20th centuries (left and right).

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