Da Nang eyes to turn museums into attractive tourist site

By DA NANG Today / DA NANG Today
June 10, 2021, 21:07 [GMT+7]

Besides upgrading the existing highly popular museums, Da Nang is gearing up perfecting its own museum system in a bid to create more unique cultural highlights and must-visit attractions for tourists during their stay in this central Vietnamese destination.

The Da Nang government has earmarked the 42 Bach Dang facility, an administrative building created by the French in the late 19th century, and approved the use of more than VND 500 billion for the new Da Nang Museum project. Photo: XUAN SON
The Da Nang government has earmarked the 42 Bach Dang facility, an administrative building created by the French in the late 19th century, and approved the use of more than VND 500 billion for the new Da Nang Museum project. Photo: XUAN SON

Breakthroughs in museum investment efforts

Work is slated to start in May on the upgrade of the existing 42 Bach Dang facility, an administrative building built by the French in the late 19th century, into the new Museum of Da Nang at a total cost of VND 504 billion (over US$ 22 million) funded by the municipal budget.

According to the upgrade designs, the current historic building complex covering a total area of more than 3,500m2 will be converted into a museum. In particular, focus will be on turning the existing 3-storey block at 42 Bach Dang into an exhibition and public spaces, renovating the hall block into meeting and seminar rooms in the direction of keeping the current architecture features unchanged, and creating a new 3-storey building but ensure harmony with the time-honoured architectural features of the 42 Bach Dang facility.

Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien, Director of the Museum of Da Nang, said that the new location of this locally- renowned museum will be linked with the future-to-developed Central Square around time-honoured historical and cultural works such as special national historic site Dien Hai Citadel and the municipal General Science Library, as well as the landscapes along the western bank of the iconic Han River in a bid to form a unique cultural architecture complex.

The relocation of the existing museum out of the Dien Hai citadel site to 42 Bach Dang aims to give space for restoring and embellishing the citadel. Also, the project will help to provide larger space for the museum in order to satisfy the increasing demand of both locals and visitors for studying, researching and learning about the cultural and historical values of the city, and the central region as a whole.

In 2020, the municipal government has given a nod to the development of the second facility of the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture in Phong Le Village, Cam Le District with a total investment of VND100 billion. The project is expected to take shape during the 2021 - 2023 period.

The Museum of Cham Sculpture No. 2 will boast a convenient location, connecting the waterway tourism route to the My Son Sanctuary World Cultural Heritage Site, thereby showing off enough potential to become an attractive cultural tourist drawing-card.

The municipal authorities are also mulling over the development of the VND 500 billion Da Nang Marine Culture Museum over the 2025 – 2030 period.

Under the national government-approved adjustments to the Da Nang Master Plan for its major developments by 2030, with a vision towards 2045, this museum will be located on the coast of Son Tra District or at the end of Nguyen Sinh Sac Street adjacent to Nguyen Tat Thanh coastal route.

Notably, the city also targets at creating an urban highlight through the setting-up of a so-called “living museum”, which is expected to cover an 11-ha urban area in downtown Hai Chau District, with the national-level relic site Hai Chau village communal house placed at the centre. This site still features time-honoured architecture landmarks and historical and cultural imprints, thus playing an important role in creating the image and soul of the city.

How to attract even more visitors?

According to the city’s policies, the museum system is planned towards developing the existing museums into typical attractions serving both local dwellers and visitors from both home and aboard.

Mr. Diep Dan Hung, Head of the Department of Science – Literature under the Office of the municipal People's Committee, said that, South Korea has always focused on developing the tourism industry combined with culture, through the formation of unique and attractive attractions, including museums. For example, in Jeju Island covering more than 1,800km2 and possessing a population of just over 600,000, there are 65 museums of diversified types.

Fully aware of the tastes of tourists, Mr. Le Tan Thanh Tung, Deputy General Director of Vitours, underlined a must-do for museums to promote the application of digital technology such as the multilingual voice-over system helping visitors gain insights into the museum’s information by using smartphones to scan QR Codes attached to the labels of artifacts, and the 3D scanning aimed at creating high-precision 3D models of real-world objects. These technological trends have been successfully at Japanese museums.

According to the municipal Department of Culture and Sports, the current architecture and urban planning strategies prioritise a harmonious adaptation to the city’s natural environment and its cultural identity.

The development of cultural works in the coming time must meet three factors: bearing the stature of the city's identity and the cultural hub of the Central Viet Nam and Central Highlands regions; satisfying the practical needs of local inhabitants; and becoming attractive products in service for tourists.

Promote the formation of non-public museums

According to the municipal Department of Culture and Sports, there are two non-public museums in the city, namely Dong Dinh Museum and the Museum of Buddhist Culture.

Located on the Son Tra Peninsula, the Dong Dinh Museum is very inviting to locals and visitors arriving in the city thanks to its harmonious combination between forest ecological, and cultural and artistic spaces. The museum boasts hundreds of items dating back up to 2,500 years, which showcase the rich cultural heritages of Sa Huynh, Champa, Oc Eo, Dong Son and Dai Viet.

Nestled in the Quan The Am (Avalokitecvara) Pagoda in the Marble Mountains Tourist Area, a special national relic site in Da Nang, the Buddhist Cultural Museum, the first of its kind in Viet Nam, is very inviting to locals and visitors arriving in the city. On display at the museum are Buddhist antiques which feature Buddhist arts along with Buddhist culture of Viet Nam and some other Asian countries. According to some experts, many of the museum’s displayed artifacts are rated on par with national treasures. Visitors to the museum have the opportunity to learn more about the objects used in Buddhist worship and solemn rituals, including Buddhist scriptures, photos of Buddha and bronze bells.

Currently, the Department of Culture and Sports is appealing for more investment from the general public to develop even more private museums, thus diversifying activities in the field of heritage conservation.

Reporting by NGOC HA - Translating by A.T