These days many eyes are on the Hoang Sa exhibition house in the central city of Da Nang. The venue is home to historical documents, objects and images on Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago.

Covering nearly 1,270 square metres on Hoang Sa Street, Son Tra district, the construction of the exhibition house started in December 2018 with total investment of nearly 1.9 million USD.

The construction is designed as an adaption of the seal for Vietnamese sovereignty under the Nguyen Dynasty to represent the connection between the past and present, while reaffirming that Vietnam has established and exercised its sovereignty over the archipelago, at least from the rule of the Nguyen Lords.

According to Dang Cong Ngu, Former Chairman of Hoang Sa district People’s Committee, Da Nang city, given that Hoang Sa archipelago is being occupied, the exhibition house is expected to inspire Vietnamese people to continue fighting for national sovereignty over the islands.

Its central area features a replica of Hoang Sa Archipelago’s sovereignty column, which was built in 1938 by the French. The column reaches from the first floor to the third floor.

The exhibits at the four-storey building are arranged into various topics, including the geographic location and natural conditions of Hoang Sa in ancient documents dated before the Nguyen Dynasty and during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945); historical evidence of Vietnam's sovereignty over the archipelago from 1954 to 1974 and from 1975 to the present.

Chinese people in the past didn’t consider Hoang Sa and Truong Sa part of their territory as many documents by Chinese people indicate the fact, said Tran Duc Anh Son, Deputy Director of Institute for Socio-Economic Development in Da Nang. "I even found a valuable document in Harvard University. The 200-page book under Qianlong dynasty affirms that Hainan Island is China’s southernmost point.", he added.

Besides historical documents, various artifacts are also displayed here, such as belongings of the first naval soldiers to Hoang Sa archipelago and a 100 square metre Vietnamese flag made by an 80-year-old woman, which was presented to Hoang Sa island district in 2010. The exhibits have brought Hoang Sa closer to Vietnamese hearts.

Le Thi Nhat Linh, a pupil of Hoàng Sa secondary school, Da Nang city told reporters: "When visiting the exhibition centre, I can acquire lots of knowledge on national sovereignty which I used to read only in books."

While Le Tran Kim Anh, another pupil from the school said: "We will do our best to promote the centre to our friends so they can have a better insight into the archipelago whose name is acquired by our school."

The venue is expected to raise awareness among people, especially youths, on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagos, Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, and the importance of protecting the national sea and islands.-VNA