A photo exhibition opened in Hanoi on April 15, spotlighting the start of a Western-style city in Southeast Asia in the capital of Vietnam.
The event is held at an old villa at No 49 Tran Hung Dao street, Hoan Kiem district, on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of Vietnam – France diplomatic relations, the 10th anniversary of the bilateral strategic partnership, and the 12th conference on decentralised cooperation between the two countries.
It displays the first 30 colour pictures of Hanoi, which were captured by Leson Busy between 1915 and 1921. They describe the start of a Western-style city where local traditional characteristics co-existed with foreign factors imported from France.
Aside from the structures that helped change the urban face of Hanoi, many details in the photos also show the presence of the Western culture in the Old Quarter and local living spaces, reflecting the strong influence of the French culture and its confluence with the local culture in the city in the early 20th century.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Duong Duc Tuan said that the city and the Ile-de-France region of France formed the first pair of partners in the Vietnam – France decentralised cooperation in 1989.
Over the past years, the two sides have cooperated fruitfully in the fields of sustainable development, urban planning, culture, and heritage conservation, he noted, adding that the villa that hosts the exhibition was the first from the French colonial period to have been restored by Hanoi with technical support from the Ile-de-France region.
In the coming time, they will continue working together to collect and showcase evidence of the confluence of the French and Vietnamese cultures in the first half of the 20th century, aiming to show the public the local administration’s determination and French partners’ assistance in heritage conservation and call for the community’s support for the conservation, according to Tuan.
Mésadieu, member of the Regional Council of Ile-de-France, affirmed that collaboration in heritage and cultural affairs is always a priority of the two countries’ decentralsed cooperation./.
Source: Vietnam News Agency