History museum rents out land to businesses
  • | tienphong, | April 07, 2017 09:12 AM
As the National Museum of Vietnamese History in Hanoi is failing to attract visitors, it has increasingly become a venue for restaurants and wedding parties.

On April 4, the museum exhibited items from the economic reform period but the display rooms were empty. There were only a few dozen foreign tourists at the ticket booths and souvenir shops.

Both premises of the museum on Trang Tien and Tong Dan streets are filled with restaurants. Right next to the gate of the premise on Tong Dan Street are two restaurants and cafes. The outer area of the premises, which face the streets have been converted to be rented out to Lan Chin Bar.

A big signboard of Thuy Cai Wedding Centre put up at the entrance. An employee of Thuy Cai Centre said they had rented the place for nearly two years and had space for hundreds of customers. They also offer live stream services for the weddings. However, both the bar and wedding centre areas are still listed as part of the museum's map.


Thuy Cai Wedding Centre inside the museum

About 20 metres away is a display room with items from the economic reform period which connect with other display rooms in the building. Thousands of metres of the premises on Trang Tien Street are also rented out to cafes and restaurants.

Nguyen Van Tuan, a local living on Trang Tien Street, said, "The museum displays historic items so it needs to give off a solemn atmosphere but the bar and restaurants ruin that."

Mai Xuan Vinh, head of public asset management office under the city Department of Finance, said the museum was not allowed to rent out the land. They were only allowed to open cafeterias and souvenir shops for visitors. When the managers want to rent out the land for other purposes, they must be approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism beforehand.

"The land is used for wrong purpose if it is rented for weddings. If you want to start a joint business venture, you must seek approval from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism," he said.

In addition, the funding for the museum will be re-calculated. For example, if the annual state funding is VND10bn (USD440,000) then it will be cut to VND8bn if the museum can already earn VND2bn from extra services or the museum will have to contribute VND2bn to the state budget.

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