A display titled “Temple of Literature – a Revival of Hanoi’s Heritage in the 1898-1954 period” opens on February 14 at the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam.

International visitors to the exhibition of “Temple of Literature – a Revival of Hanoi’s Heritage in the 1898-1954 period”. Photo: Minh An

The event is organized by the Center for Scientific and Cultural Activities of the Temple of Literature in collaboration with the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and France (1973 -2023).

According to the organizers, in the period 1898-1954, the Temple of Literature and EFEO had strong cooperation in terms of protection and restoration that helped the relic site maintain its important role in Hanoians’ cultural and ritual life.

The rebirth of the site is told through the documentary photos and artifacts provided by EFEO in the exhibition.

They not only help the public better understand the restoration of the relic, but also the determination of French and Vietnamese experts to combat the ill effects of time on heritage.

At the opening of the exhibition, Nicolas Fiésvé, director of the French Institute of the Far East, said that the exhibits show the architecture of the Temple of Literature, as well as the conservation work carried out over many years.

The Temple of Literature in the old days. File photo

According to Do Dinh Hong, Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, the exhibition is the result of strong cooperation between Vietnam and the French Republic in the field of heritage conservation.

“With the great help from EFEO, Hanoi has been able to promote the value of the historical relic, making Temple of Literature an interesting creative space in the capital, contributing to fostering the friendship between the two countries and two capital cities” he stated.

The walls surrounding the relic were built in 1899 and 1900 to protect the interior. In 1904, the Literature Pavilion, the Temple Gates, and the Thien Quang Well, among others, were restored for the first time. In 1905, the roof tiles of the architectural works were repaired. In 1933, the Department of Public Works and Government of Ha Dong (present-day Hanoi) approved a sum of 4,494 Indochinese piastres for the overall restoration of the relic site, under the supervision of the EFEO. In 1946, several architectural works of the relic were destroyed. From 1953 to August 1954, the restoration of the Dai Bai House inside the Temple of Literature was undertaken, and so on.

The exhibition will last until April 30 at the Tien Duong House, Special National Monument of Temple of Literature in Dong Da District, Hanoi.