Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture

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Address: 02 2/9 street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang City

Open time: 08h00 – 11h30 and 14h00 – 16h30 Everyday

Price: USD 3

Traveler reviews: on TripAdvisor

Visit duration: 1 hour

Why Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture is special

The Museum’s first building was opened in 1919, but many Cham Sculptures collected in Da Nang and elsewhere were brought to the site over the preceding 20 years.

The collection was begun by French archaeologists and experts from L’École Francaise d’Extrême Orient (EFEO). Some artefacts were sent to Paris and others to the Ha Noi and Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City) museums, but many typical objects were left in Tourane (now Da Nang).

The establishment of a Cham sculpture museum in Da Nang was first proposed in 1902 by the Department of Archaeology of EFEO. Henri Parmentier, a prominent archaeologist of the department, made great contributions to the campaign for its construction. The first building was designed by two French architects M. Deleval and M. Auclair. The Museum has been extended twice, but the character of the original architecture has been well preserved.

The first extension was in the 1930s, with two new galleries providing display space for the objects added in the 1920s and 1930s. Henri Parmentier directed the display based on the areas where the sculptures were found. The 1111 square meter of floor space was arranged into the My Son , Tra Kieu, Dong Duong and Thap Mam galleries and the Quang Tri, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum corridors.

In 2002, the Museum was again extended with the two storey building provide an extra 1111 square meter. The new building provides space for display, storage, a library, restoration workshop and offices for staff.

What to explore at Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture

The sculptured artefacts in the collection of the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture are mainly of sandstone and terra cotta with a few bronze pieces. There is also a collection of clothing, photographs, films and digital discs.

The sandstone sections are the most important and include pedestals, statues of gods, holy animals and symbols and architectural decorations from Cham temples and worshiping sites.

The gods are identified with reference to the Indian mythology based on the holy animal the god often rode or the objects carried.

The pieces are identified according to where they were found or excavated, or the form or function of the object, including the round, relief, pedestal and architectural details. Thus criteria are explicit and uncontroversial.

Some researchers have used similarities, e.g. decorative design, the shape of hair curls, costumes, etc., to classify the Cham sculpture into several styles. Then, by referring to dates, which in some cases are clear enough, or to the styles in neighbouring countries, they have decided on the evolution of the styles. Each is named for the locality where a typical object of the style was found. For example, “the My Son E1 style” is applied to all objects bearing main features similar to those found in temple E1 at My Son in Quang Nam. The Dong Duong style refers to all objects similar to the sculptures from the Dong Duong relic in Quang Nam. The method of classification depends primarily on the conceptions and interpretation of different scholars.

Getting to Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture

From Da Nang international airport: 4 km away, go by motorbike or bicycle

From Da Nang train station: 6 km away, go by motorbike or bicycle

From Hoi An ancient town: 30 km away, go by taxi or bus

Travel tips

  • There is an onsite shop selling imitation pieces and there are also English language guidebooks for sale
  • Photography and videography are permitted with handheld cameras. Special photography/filming sessions require special permission. No images of the Museum or its collections may be reproduced, distributed in any media, including websites, without permission from the Da Nang Museum of Cham Sculpture.

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