Vietnam to seek possibilities of repatriating the imperial seal

WVR/VNA - Authorities in Vietnam are looking for possibilities and taking necessary measures to repatriate the imperial golden seal of the Nguyen Dynasty that has set to be auctioned soon by a Paris-based action house, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.
Authorities working to recover imperial seal to be auctioned in France: spokeswoman
The golden imperial seal made in 1823 under the reign of King Minh Mang. (Photo: VNA)

She made the remark at the Ministry's regular press briefing on November 3 in response to a question about French auction house Millon preparing to sell a golden seal made in 1823 under the reign of King Minh Mang (from 1820 to 1841), along with other antiquities hailing from or related to Vietnam.

Spokesperson Hang noted that over the past days, under the Government’s direction, the MOFA, the Vietnamese Embassy in France, and the Vietnamese Delegation to UNESCO have been working closely with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), other ministries and sectors to liaise with the French Foreign Ministry and Culture Ministry, the Embassy of France in Vietnam, along with leaders of UNESCO and the auction house to verify information and defer the auction.

On October 31, the Vietnamese Embassy said that the auction would be postponed until November 10.

The Foreign Ministry is directing the Vietnamese Embassy in France and the Delegation to UNESCO to coordinate with and assist the MCST to seek possibilities and take necessary measures for repatriating the antiquity.

On October 31, Millon offered for sale more than 300 antiquities and artworks hailing from or related to Vietnam.

They include the golden seal “Hoang de chi bao” (Treasure of the Emperor) of King Minh Mang and a golden bowl dating back to the reign of King Khai Dinh (from 1917 to 1925) of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 - 1945).

The golden seal, weighing over 10kg and symbolising the King’s supreme power, had a starting price of about 2 - 3 million EUR (1.9 - 2.9 million USD).

However, Millon said, due to the Vietnamese State’s strong interest for the seal, the sale of this piece is postponed to November 10 at noon.

Earlier, the Vietnamese Embassy in France had worked with the parties concerned regarding the seal auction. Representatives of the Nguyen Phuc clan in Vietnam, who are descendants of the Nguyen Kings, had also sent a request for cancelling the auction of the golden seal and golden bowl to Millon.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)