Thursday, 9 December, 2010.
THUA THIEN – HUE — The Hue Monuments
Conservation Centre outbid at an auction in Paris on an artwork painted by
former King Ham Nghi of Viet Nam.
A diplomat at the Vietnamese Embassy
in France who represented the centre at the auction at Millon&Associes submitted
a bid of 8,000 euros (US$11,784) for the Chieu Ta or Decline dur Jour (Sunset),
an oil on canvas by King Ham Nghi.
But the highest bid was 8,800 euros
($12,962), said Nguyen Van Phuc, head of the Centre's External Relations
The reserve price was between $1,100
Phuc said the centre decided to join
the auction because it had recognised the historical value of the painting, an
art work related to the Nguyen dynasty (1802 – 1945).
A number of Viet kieu (overseas
Vietnamese) in France, who wanted to donate the painting to the centre, were
unhappy that they could not purchase the painting.
King Ham Nghi, the eighth ruler of
the Nguyen dynasty, ascended to the throne in 1884 and ruled for one year,
during which he led the Can Vuong resistance movement against the French.
In 1888 he was arrested and exiled
in Algeria, where he died in 1943. He was buried in 1965 in Aquitaine, France.
He painted Chieu Ta in 1915 while in
exile. It is thought to be influenced by the works of Paul Gauguin, a leading
French post-impressionist artist who lived in the 19th century.
Phuc said through the Vietnamese
Embassy in France and the Association of Overseas Vietnamese in the country
that the centre would contact King Ham Nghi's daughter, Princess Nhu Ly, the
owner of many paintings by her father, to ask for transfer of ownership of
these art works, to the city of Hue. — VNS