Sunday, December 10, 2023

Art Work Returned to Vietnam in Collaboration with Vietnam Embassy The Hague

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Diplomat Magazine
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

By Roy lie Atjam

The Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in the Netherlands organized a ceremony for the donation of two art objects from the personal collection of Mrs. Ellen Berends, a retired diplomat who served in Vietnam. The ceremony took place at the Chancellery of Vietnam in The Hague on 17th November 2022.

During her stint in Hanoi – Vietnam (1997 – 2002) Mrs Berends acquired two artworks by the Vietnamese artist  Phung Phâm (1) a Lacquer painting on wood of a standing woman in traditional dress entitled “Proud” (“Tự Hào”) and (2) Lacquer painting on wooden folding screen entitled “Love Kisses”.

However, Mrs. Ellen Berends has decided to donate the two works of art to the Vietnam Museum of Fine Art and the people of Vietnam. According to Berends, the works are part of the Vietnamese cultural property. A noble and generous move indeed. Bravo!                    

Former Dutch diplomat in Vietnam Ms. Ellen Berends.


Ambassador Pham Viet Anh and Ellen Berends during the ceremony for the donation of two artworks by the Vietnamese artist  Phung Phâm from Ms Berends personal collection. The two pieces will be part of the Vietnam Museum of Fine Art’s collection.

Mrs Berends recounted how she came across the two works and ultimately purchased them. She had to do some savings before buying the objects. She has never regretted buying them, the pieces accompanied Berends on all postings abroad she has had over the years.

The Ambassador of Vietnam H.E. Mr. Pham Viet Anh took a keen interest in the dossier, and despite some minor hiccups, he facilitated an appropriate and smooth transfer.

Former Dutch Ambassadors Ellen Berends and Monique Frank.
Mrs. Le Thi Hien Anh, Vietnam’s Ambassador spouse, Ms. Vo Thi Ngoc Diep, Commercial Counsellor – Head of Trade Office, Arjen IJff, a Dutch designer who was born in Vinh Long province (Viet Nam) and Mrs. Thi Lan Huong Nguyen from the Embassy of Vietnam.

After the signing of the deed and other documents, witnessed by friends of Vietnam, the diaspora, and Dutch government representatives notably Ms. Dewi van de Weerd, Ambassador for International and Cultural Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ms. Margriet Kim Nguyen, Policy Officer International Affairs at the Department for Heritage and Art, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; Ambassador  Pham Viet Anh, lauded Mrs. Ellen Berends and expressed his government’s gratitude for the generous donation. Also present, the former Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Ms. Monique Frank.

The two works will soon be on their way back home, to Vietnam!

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