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!
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.
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!