Museum of Cham sculpture

The Museum of Cham Sculpture is a museum displaying works of Cham art and located near the Hàn river (Sông Hàn, or Hàn giang; 汗 江), in the city of Đà Nẵng formerly called Tourane in Annam in the center of Vietnam, in the district of Hải Châu. The Museum of Antiquity Cham imagined and proposed in 1902 by Henri Parmentier and who then drew up the plans, was created in 1915. It was first named museum Henri Parmentier, named after the archaeologist and architect who was the initiator. Indeed, he spent his life in Indochina and especially in Cambodia and devoted his life to studying and restoring Cham and Khmer temples. Now a museum of Cham sculpture, it is home to the world’s largest collection of Cham sculpture and has become a popular tourist destination with many foreigners every year. The centenary of the museum (1915-2015) was celebrated during Vietnam Heritage Day with the presentation of a renovation project funded by the City of Da Nang.

The creation of a museum dedicated to sculpture and art Cham in Da Nang, called Tourane at that time, was proposed in 1902 by the Department of Archeology of the French School of the Far East (EFEO) for collect the antiques cham. The archaeologist Henri Parmentier was the main promoter of the Project and actively campaigned to make its foundation, he drew up the plans of the museum which was created in 1915 under the name of Henri Parmentier Museum and the first building inaugurated in 1919. Previously, before the creation of the museum, the site was renamed and known as the “Garden of Sculpture”. Since many Cham sculptures from Đà Nẵng (Tourane) and Quảng Nam had already been discovered twenty years before 1919 date of the opening of the museum. The building, featuring traditional Cham features and designed by the French architects Deleval and Auclair, is enlarged twice, first in 1936, then again, with two new galleries offering exhibition space for objects added in the 1920s and 1930s. After 1954 and the Indochina War, the museum, originally christened Henri Parmentier Museum, was renamed Museum of Cham sculpture. In 2002, a further expansion was achieved by the addition of a two-storey building providing additional space between exhibition and conservation areas, a library, a restoration workshop and offices. Until 2007, the museum was managed by the administrative authorities of muséesà Nẵng museums in charge of museums of the City and Heritage. But since then, the management of the museum has been orchestrated by the city authorities in collaboration with the Museum of Sculpture Cham of Da Nang and the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism. Originally, it was Henri Parmentier himself who arranged the available space of the initial museum in order to present the collections of the sites such as the sanctuary of Mỹ Sơn, of, of Đồng Dương the Buddhist temple on the Cham territory , Tháp Mẫm, Quang Tri, Quảng Ngãi, Bình Định and Kon Tum. The museum of Cham sculpture, with all of its collections of antiquities, has made it possible to introduce Cham culture to a very large number of people from all over the world.

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