Culture Culture

14/05/2021 - 08:59

ESTABLISHMING PRIVATE MUSEUMS

Collectors are interested but worried that the museums would be difficult to maintain

In order to facilitate the establishment and development of private museums, the People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province will issue numerous supportive policies on land lease, display, exhibition, promotion, etc. However, collectors are still concerned for that.

Phuoc Trang private museum

Potential

Along with the public museum system, the privately-owned museums in Hue are playing an increasingly important role in preserving the national cultural heritages and providing more cultural enjoyment for the people. In addition to Phuoc Trang Private Museum and XQ Museum of Embroidery Art, Hue has the potential to establish more private museums as there existed a variety of private collections among the collectors.

In the province, there are more than 20 private collectors who are keeping thousands of rare artifacts, including household items, ritual items, sacrifice items, jewelry, weapons, etc., which are very diverse in design, and with high cultural and artistic value.

However, the values of these private collections of precious antiques are yet to be promoted to their full potential. Each collector manages and expands his/her collection according to his/her own condition. Encouraging the establishment of private museums is a way to exploit and promote this heritage resource.

Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports, said that Phuoc Trang Private Museum, XQ Museum of Embroidery Art and upcoming museums such as cuisine museum, ao dai museum, celebrity museum, etc., can be destinations that attract tourists. A new criterion is developed which calls for small but quality museums. In addition, private museums also help to reduce the loss of antiquities and create opportunities for the public to access a valuable part of the cultural heritage.

On April 7, 2021, the Provincial People's Committee issued a plan to implement the project "Policy to support the development of private museums in Thua Thien Hue Province with a vision to 2030". The goal is that by 2030, there will be 5 private museums in the province.

According to the policy of supporting the development of private museums with a vision to 2030, the province will keep the lease price of state-managed buildings and land at the minimum level issued by the State. In case organizations and individuals lease private land or buildings to organize private museum activities, the value of support must not exceed VND 50 million / year. 

In addition, every year, each private museum is also supported with 2 exhibition events within the province. The maximum value of support is not more than 50 million VND / 1 event; support for the development of a typical souvenir product of the museum, the value of support must not exceed 30 million VND / product; support in human resources training, professional training, training on museum work; support for promotion on mass media with the support value not exceeding 30 million / 1 year.

Concerns about maintenance

A reputable collector said that most antiques collectors are very interested in the provincial policy of encouraging the establishment of private museums: “This is the right and necessary direction to keep antiquities for Hue".

Owning many valuable antiques, the above collector shared that he was very interested in the establishment of a private museum but was afraid of the binding regulations when receiving support from the project. He also expressed concerns about complicated procedures and about the source of income to maintain the museum and to pay the managers...

He said, "Many other collectors are just as apprehensive as I am, seeing that today's private museums can only operate in moderation. Therefore, in order to motivate private museums to come into existence, the State must provide reasonable, specific and synchronous support. Prompt actions are needed if we do not want the antiques to continue to leave Hue".

To have a basis to propose appropriate support policies for the development of private museums, the Department of Culture and Sports has met and exchanged with 10 collectors who currently hold a large number of valuable artifacts.

Out of the 10 collectors, only 2 intend to establish private museums, the remaining 8 hope that the State will have specific policies on land and legal support in the process of establishing museums, supporting appropriate policies to facilitate the development of the private museum system.

According to the collector Nguyen Huu Hoang, the establishment of a private museum is the best condition for collectors to introduce artifacts to antiques lovers. However, he also wondered: “I am very interested in the policy of establishing private museums, but the conditions are not yet favorable. The hardest thing is to find the right exhibition space and the resources to maintain the museum.

A collector expressed: “If a museum ‘wishes’ to attract visitors, the quality must be high and the exhibits on display must be attractive. To do this is not easy when too many valuable antiques are no longer in Hue. Buying is not possible when the price of artifacts is currently too high. Attracting visitors to have enough income to maintain a private museum is extremely challenging.”

In addition to the supportive policies from the project " Policy to support the development of private museums in Thua Thien Hue Province with a vision to 2030", in order to "untangle" the concerns of collectors who intend to establish private museums, the Department of Culture and Sports needs to advise on support policies, propose development solutions for private museums, especially on how to organize events to attract visitors...

Story and photo: Minh Hien

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