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Updated March 7, 2010
Dragons to mark millennium
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A flying dragon design from the Ly Dynasty has been used as the model for a limited edition of bronze statues made to celebrate 1,000 years since the foundation of Hanoi.

The statue's designer, Le Dieu Huong, said 1,000 of the bronze dragon sculptures will be produced.

Huong said the dragon design, used by the royal court during the Ly Dynasty (1010-1225), was selected for its striking Vietnamese aesthetics.

"It is a pure Vietnamese dragon design, which was not influenced by any dragon designs used by Chinese dynasties," said Huong.

She said the design was also appropriate as 1,000 years ago the Ly Dynasty's King Ly Cong Uan moved the country's capital from Hoa Lu in the northern province of Ninh Binh to Thang Long (now Hanoi).

"Thang Long literally means ‘flying dragon'," she said.

To complete the design, Huong sought advice from leading Vietnamese historians and sculptors, while also devoting a lot of time to researching ancient documents from the period.

The statues, which present the specific features of Vietnamese fine arts and culture, will be cast by artisans from the Dong Son Fine Arts Joint Stock Company.

According to chairman of the company's management board, Le Huy Duc, traditional hand-made casting methods will be used to create the statues.

"The pure bronze dragons will have gemstone eyes," he said.

"Each statue will be numbered and come with a certificate stating its origin and value. To make sure the products are limited editions, we have registered the design's copyright."

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, an officer from the steering board for the anniversary celebrations, Nguyen Trong Tuan, said the statues will be auctioned to raise funds for charities.

Veteran Buddhist monks and bronze casting artisans gathered at a religious ceremony yesterday in Hanoi to start the casting process.


VNS

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