Resort cum museum presents past glory

(No.5, Vol.3, June 2013 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

The Chu Lai museum, at Chu Lai Resort, in Quang Nam Province, South Central Vietnam, has 15,000 relics, collected by Pham Xuan Long over almost 40 years. They include ceramics, cannon, costumes, jewellery, household items, tools, and Vietnamese and Cham sculpture.
The Cham art treasures at the museum were made in the first century. They are statuettes of gods, Buddha, animals and linga-yoni.
One of the statuettes is a praying Buddhist monk made of copper in the period from the 4th and 9th centuries. A stone linga-yoni was made in the second or third century. A gilded copper linga-yoni dates to the 3rd to 5th centuries. A gemstone Ganesa and a Vishnu statuette of copper date to the 7th to 9th centuries.
Cham statuettes and bas-reliefs in other museums are often of sandstone but here are often of precious metals, including copper, white gold and silver. A statuette of the God Hieu Trieu is of white gold and 80 cm tall. The base is elaborately carved with female-breasts and lotus motifs.
Nandi, considered the vehicle of Shiva, appears at the Cham towers in Quang Nam as statuettes of Nandi of sandstone bas-reliefs. At Chu Lai Museum, there is a statuette of Nandi bull in white gold.
Chu Lai Museum is in Chu Lai Resort, Tam Nghia Commune, Nui Thanh District, Quang Nam Province. Tel: (0510) 2226-699.
*Dr Tran Tan Vinh is director of Quang Nam Museum, in Quang Nam Province.

Cham culture display room at Chu Lai Museum.

Statuette of Nandi bull made of white gold

Base of the statuette of God Hieu Trieu with lotus and female-breasts made of gold

Text and photos by Tran Tan Vinh*
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