VietNamNet Bridge – Two months after the capital city’s great anniversary, the biggest drum in Vietnam, the gift of the Hanoi Fine Art Handicraft Association to the Thang Long Royal Citadel, has begun to deteriorate.
This drum was used at the opening and the closing ceremony of Thang Long-Hanoi’s 1000th anniversary.
Le Giang To, Vice Chair of the Hanoi Fine Art Handicraft Association, said that after the anniversary, the drum was placed in the backyard of Kinh Thien palace in the Thang Long Royal Citadel. Under sunlight and rains, it began to deteriorate.
The drum, with a diameter of 3.15m, is the largest drum in Vietnam and perhaps Southeast Asia.
It is made by jackfruit wood and buffalo skin. Artisan Pham Chi Tinh and the most skilled workers of the drum making village of Doi Tam in Ha Nam province, worked for three months to make the drum.
“If the drum is well maintained, its lifespan may reach up to 300 years. But the face of the drum is being ruined because of rain, sunlight, wind and mold. I’m very unhappy to see the drum being ruined day by day,” To said.
On December 4, To and drum-maker Pham Chi Tinh sent a letter to Hanoi authorities and the Center for Preservation of Co Loa Relic and Hanoi Ancient Citadel to ask for timely solutions to save the spiritual drum.
On December 8 the drum was still in the backyard of Kinh Thien Palace, but it was covered by a canvas.
Phan Duy Thang, Deputy Director of the Center for Preservation of Co Loa Relic and Hanoi Ancient Citadel, admitted that the center didn’t preserve the drum well. He said there is no suitable place to contain the drum because it is too tall.
Thang said the drum is covered by a canvas during rain. Once it is sunny, the canvas is taken off.
“We will build a canvas to keep the drum,” Thang promised.