According to Le Phu Nguyen from the central city’s Internal Affairs Department, the museum, straddling the coastal streets of Hoang Sa-Truong Sa-Vo Nguyen Giap in the Son Tra Peninsula, will display collections of artifacts and documents on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands.
The shape of the 1,300sq.m museum, which was inspired by a seal made for the Hoang Sa Flotilla during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty’s King Minh Mang in 1835, was designed by contemporary architects Tran Quoc Thanh and Nguyen Quang Huy and Japanese architect Fuminori Minakami.
The design is an image of the 1835 seal, which made official the founding of the Hoang Sa Flotilla. It was a stamp of authority for Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes, recorded in ancient documents from previous centuries.
Nguyen said the department has received collections of 150 maps published between 1618-1859, and 1626-1908. Of which, many show evidence that the Paracel and Spratlys archipelagoes belong to Vietnam, and 102 books published in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and the Han Chinese script showing the frontier of Southern China is Hainan Island.
Nguyen also said the department plans to display in the museum’s backyard a shipwreck rammed by Chinese boats in Vietnamese waters off the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago in 2014.
Tourists and local residents can now study Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago’s history with vintage documents, photos and artefacts.
Ancient maps and documents published during the Ming and Qing dynasties between the 16th and early 20th century show that China’s borders did not include the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands.
Last year, the Hoang Sa District People’s Committee held a meeting of 12 people who lived, worked and fought for the archipelago from 1959-1974. Hoang Sa was illegally seized by Chinese forces on January 19, 1974.