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Cham Showcase

Listed under National History Museums in Vietnam.

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A special style of Cham Pottery, known as Go Sanh, is the focus of a private museum established at 173 Le Hong Phong Street, Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh province. The ancient pottery on display at this location was collected by Mr. Nguyen Huot in the decades before Vietnam’s reunification. Mr. Huot’s son, Nguyen Vinh Hao, inherited his dad’s prized collection and opened this museum to display the collection.

The museum houses thousand of antiques from the Kingdom of Champa, which flourished in Central Vietnam. The Cham statues on display range from expensive golden statues once owned by the royal family to the religious stone statues of roughly made images. The collection is extremely precious.

Part of the museum’s appeal is its architecture. Visitors expecting a boring museum lined with glass cabinet will be surprised. While modern materials have been used, the house features typical Cham motifs, plus some elements of traditional northern architecture.

In front of the house stands a huge pair of gate columns, bent like ivory tusks - a style common to the gates of Cham towers. Cast from concrete, the column gain the ancient look thanks to wood carvings at the top. Inside, visitors are welcome by a blazing red Shiva statue. Kala demon heads fixed on the thick wooden planks look incredibly vivid, recalling the glory days of Cham capital Vijaya, which flourished and then perished in the 15th century.

The collection is displayed in large glass cases and in wall recesses, as they would be inside a Cham tower. Statues of Brahma, Vishnu and other gods are most intact, having spend hundreds of years underground. The gods’ static gestures are complemented by their vivid facial expressions. In this space, visitor can feel the spirit of the ancient Cham people and their once-great kingdom.

Opened in early 2006, this museum immediately attracted the attention of researchers and collectors. Built up over lifetime, this collection reflects a passion for Cham’s ancient culture.

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