An international seminar on Cham civilisations - the links between Vietnam and India, opened in central coastal city of Da Nang on June 26.

Addressing the two-day event, the first of its kind in Vietnam, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh affirmed the Cham ethnic people are among Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups.

The group has a rich cultural treasure, the most typical examples of which are the world cultural heritage site of My Son in central Quang Nam province, traditional festivals and numerous archaeological sites. Influence by the Indian culture could be seen most clearly in the Cham architecture, arts, beliefs and religions, said the minister.

For his part, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, Rajit Rae, said the seminar will study various aspects of century’s old cultural exchange and open up opportunities for sharing experiences in the restoration and preservation of the My Son sanctuary.

This is also a chance for experts from the Archaeology Survey of India to acquire expertise from Vietnamese scholars and for Vietnamese, Indian and foreign scholars to discuss effective methods for future cooperation, said the Indian diplomat.

During the event, participants will hear scholars’ speeches on the Cham sculpture, explore the links between Vietnam and India , the Cham temples and intangible cultural heritage, as well as share expertise in restoring and preserving the world’s heritage sites.

The Indian government is to provide Vietnam with three million USD to restore and preserve the My Son sanctuary. The project will be carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India, which has previously restored with critical acclaim, the temples at Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm in Cambodia and Wat Phou in Laos.-VNA