The March 30 event was organized by the Vietnamese Embassy as part of its Vietnamese Days in the U.K. program lasting from March 28 to April 27.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.K. Nguyen Hoang Long (second from the left) presents gifts to the three speakers at the event.

One of the speakers, Sud Chonchirdsin, the curator for the Vietnamese collection at the British Library from 2005-2019, showed visitors to historical documents proving that the Vietnam-U.K. trade relationship was formed 350 years before the two countries officially established diplomatic relations in 1973. Among the items were two letters, one by Lord Trinh Tac sent in 1673 to William Gyfford, head of a delegation from the British Government’s British East India Company when the group came to establish diplomatic relations, and the other by Emperor Canh Thinh dated 1793 which was delivered to Special Envoy George Macartney, head of the British diplomatic mission.

He also presented the Vietnamese collection kept at the library, including nine Nom manuscripts dating back to the period between the 17th century to the 20th century, 10,000 printed books with diverse topics from the 19th century to now, and nearly 300 newspapers and magazines.

Meanwhile, Jessica Harrison-Hall, head of the China section at the British Museum, told attendants about the development of Vietnam's ceramic trade from the Phung Nguyen culture, a Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age culture in northern Vietnam, to the present.

Alexandra Green, the curator for the Southeast Asia section at the museum, showed its rich collection of documents about Vietnam, which covers prints, books and paintings from the mid-20th century, ceramic artifacts, ancient coins, royal costumes, brocade textiles, and bamboo and rattan products, among many other items.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long informed participants of more than 50 political, economic, cultural, educational and tourism activities to be held across the U.K. by the embassy for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the countries’ diplomatic relations this year.

Visitors were also treated to Vietnamese contemporary art via a series of paintings exhibited at the gallery.

Source: VNA