Introduction of Cham museum
The Cham Museum is the main attraction of Da Nang and is worth the trip, even if you’re coming all the way from Hoi An. This old sandstone building houses an excellent collection of Cham art and sculpture.
The museum was completed in 1916, with Da Nang chosen as the location due to its proximity to the former kingdom of Champa. The museum follows Cham architectural themes,and was enlarged in 1936 as its collection increased.
There are now more than 300 original pieces of sculpture. Each of the museum’s ten rooms bears the name of the district in which the relics were found.A museum shop sells all manner of imitation pieces, priced from 50,000 to 700,000 VND. They will bargain especially if you are buying a few pieces.A guidebook to the museum is available at the ticket booth for US$5. It’s well written and informative, with specific information about many of the major pieces inside the museum.
Establishment and development of Cham museum
The establishment of a Cham sculpture museum in Da Nang was first proposed in 1902 by the Department of Archaelogy of L’Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient (the Far-East Archaeological Research Institute).
Henri Parmentier, a prominent archaelogist in the department, made great contributions to the campaign for its construction. The first museum building was designed by French architects, and construction began in 1915 and was finished by May 1916. On 22 June 1918 Albert Sarraut, the French Governor-General of Indochina, signed a decision to establish the “Musée de l’Indochine, Section des Antiquités Chames” (Indochina Museum, Cham Sculptures Section) in Da Nang and stipulated that it was to be an archaeological museum under the management of the Far-East Archaeological Research Institute.
The Museum preserves sculpture items featuring the cultural, spiritual and ritual lives of the Cham people. Henri Parmentier arranged the displays in order of the areas where the objects were found. Almost 300 terracotta and stone artifacts, all dating from the 6th to 13th centuries, are on display at the museum. They were discovered mostly in the central region of Viet Nam, from Quang Binh to Binh Thuan. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of Cham artifacts.