Hue Town in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue is famous for its historic and cultural antecedents, but major modern cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are home to more museums.
The former royal citadel, however, has shown it is second to none in demonstrating its love and enthusiasm for arts and culture.
It has emerged as a pioneer in Vietnam in reserving most of its best structures and locations to build up different kinds of museums. It is perhaps the only locality in the country to do so.
In 1994, the local goverment opened the Diem Phung Thi Museum in a 83-year-old French-style palace located at 1 Phan Boi Chau Street in downtown of Hue.
The museum displays 386 artworks by Hue-born sculptor Diem Phung Thi.
Thi (1920-2002), whose name is listed in LaRousse Dictionary of 20th century arts, has 36 statues of hers placed around France, where she lived for almost 50 years (1940s-1990s), before choosing to spend the rest of her life creating new works in her hometown. She donated all her works to the local government when she passed away at the age of 82.
The town also opened a museum for sculptor, painter Le Ba Dang, who was born in the province of Quang Tri in 1921, but has lived in France since 1939.
Dang pursued an art career at the Ecole de Beaux Arts de Toulouse and is recognized as of Vietnam's most talented, famous artists, winning accolades for his blend of European and Far Eastern culture and philosophies in the arts.
Dang held his first solo exhibition in France when he was 29, and since then, has had his works displayed in several galleries and museums all over the world.
However, he decided to donate most of his works to Hue to be displayed at the Le Ba Dang Art Museum, 15 Le Loi Street, former home of the province's department of Posts and Telecommunications, since 2006.
Dang not only has full rights to display his works in the two-story, 1,417-square-meter white structure, but he has also been allowed to live with his wife on the second floor of the building.
The street, which runs along the city’s iconic Huong River, will house as many as six museums upon the completion of the plan. Apart from the Ho Chi Minh Museum and Le Ba Dang Art Center, which are two completed cultural locations on Le Loi Street, the province is also looking to upgrade the existing Hue Cultural Museum.
According to the department, the old colonial building that currently serves as the working place of the Hue Festival Centre, who organise the biennial cultural event and festivals at craft villages, will become a new museum for the sculptural works of late artist Diem Phung Thi.
The space includes a system of showroom, museum and performing sites along Le Loi Street. It will open at night from 2018.
Adds: 17 Le Loi Street, Hue city, Vietnam