Galla, Amareswar. Museums in sustainable heritage development: A case study of Vietnam. International council of museums (ICOM), 2006. www.intercom.museum/documents/4-1Galla.pdf
One of the greatest challenges of the century is the balancing of centrifugal forces from the accelerated pace of all forms of globalisation with the centripetal forces of localisation and indigenisation. The tension between the two is creative, and yet, if it is not facilitated with integrity and ethical understanding, we stand to lose the rich and varied cultural diversity of humanity. This facilitation is being addressed in different ways in different cultural contexts. Culture diversity in human development is a major area of concern in Vietnam. A country position paper has been prepared towards this end. Culture is now recognised as one of the four pillars of development along with environmental conservation, social and economic development. Museology in the country is now being considered as part of the discourse of sustainable heritage development.
Demonstration projects play an important role for the integration of culture in the economic and social plans, administrative reforms, legislative strategies, non-government organisations and private sector developers of Vietnam. As for the integration of museums into the development agenda, Vietnam is keen to learn from regional and broader international experience. Specialists and bureaucrats have been studying museums overseas quite extensively in their quest for the development of the new National History Museum and also the Vietnam Museum of Nature. However, most outsider models have to be customised to the Vietnamese context in order to be sustainable. The Vietnamese are endeavouring to build on widely acclaimed national best practice project museums such as the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, the Ha Long Ecomuseum and the Cua Van Floating Museum. Museology is now being considered as part of the discourse of sustainable heritage development in Vietnam. This keynote address looks at some of these new demonstration projects that examine the role of museums in development and the protection of cultural diversity in twenty-first century Vietnam.