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Ancient documents recognized by UNESCO

Released at: 15:52, 31/05/2018

Ancient documents recognized by UNESCO

Photo: Anninhthudo.vn

UNESCO recognizes maps and itineraries of the journeys of Vietnamese envoys to China from the 18th century as UNESCO Heritage Memory of the World.

by Le Diem

Maps and itineraries of Vietnamese envoys’ journeys to China dating back to the 18th century have been officially recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Memory of the World.

The documents were recognized at the 2018 general meeting of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP), which took place on May 29-31 in Gwangju, South Korea.

The meeting considered 12 nominations from eight countries: Tuvalu, Myanmar, China, the Philippines, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam, and the Salomon Island, with 125 representatives from 28 countries in attendance.

The book Hoang Hoa Su Trinh Do (Envoy Journeys to China) received 17 votes from 17 members of the panel for its prominent culture value. It was appreciated as a rare and precious document on the diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and China in the 18th century, contributing an important part to maintaining peace in the region and the world.

Belonging to the Nguyen Huy family in the north-central province of Ha Tinh, the book portrays the diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and China in the 18th century through journeys of Vietnamese envoys, with writings, drawings and maps. It was compiled and edited by Nguyen Huy Oanh (1713-1789), the main envoy of the Vietnamese delegates, based on documents of previous envoys and historical records as well as notes from his own journey in 1766-1767.

Vietnam has six documentary heritages recognized as Memories of the World, including the envoy journeys to China, the woodblocks of Phuc Giang School in Ha Tinh, Nguyen Dynasty wood blocks, stone steles preserved at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Buddhist-Sutra woodblocks stored at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in the northern province of Bac Giang, and imperial records from the Nguyen Dynasty.

MOWCAP, established in 1998, is the regional forum for UNESCO’s global Memories of the World project and aims to assist with the preservation of and universal access to documentary heritage in the Asia-Pacific region and also to increase awareness about the existence and significance of such heritages.

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