25.02.2013 - UNESCO Office in Ha Noi

Ha Noi celebrates inscription of Temple of Literature's Stone Steles in Memory of the World Register

©UNESCO / Handover of the certificate

Ha Noi held a ceremony on 25 February 2013 to mark the inscription of the 82 stone steles at the Temple of Literature, Viet Nam’s first university, in the Memory of the World Register, UNESCO's international listing of documentary heritage, and as a National Special National Relic of Viet Nam.

The 82 stone steles are carved with the names of doctors who passed the court examinations between 1442 and 1779 under the early Le and Mac dynasties. Information on history of the royal examinations, on the successive dynasties’ conceptions of education, and their philosophy of state governance are also engraved in these steles. The steles provide a profound source of reference of great value for studies of Viet Nam’s and regional history, education, arts and literature. They encourage people to become better, to value education, and to pursue talent and wisdom.

At the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said that the Temple of Literature was a symbol of Viet Nam’s educational and cultural immortality and eternity. He urged the authorities and people of Ha Noi, particularly youth, to learn more about and take pride in the Temple of Literature and to promote the tradition of learning.

In her congratulatory remarks, Representative of UNESCO to Viet Nam, Ms. Katherine Muller-Marin, said: “UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia of relevant historical moments. This is done through preservation of valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world and ensuring their wide dissemination. The Memory of the World Register covers all types of material, including stone, wood, celluloid, parchment, audio recordings and more. By incribing Viet Nam's stele records in the Memoy of the World Register, UNESCO acknowledges Viet Nam's efforts to preserve and promote heritages and to share these with the international community. This recognition also helps raise awareness of the importance of heritage preservation”.

Viet Nam currently has three items on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, the 34,555 plates of woodblocks of the Nguyen Dynasty and the 82 stone steles at the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam historical site, inscribed in 2009 and 2011 respectively, and the 3,050 woodblocks used to print Buddhist Sutras of Vinh Nghiem pagoda, included in the Asia-Pacific Regional Memory of the World Register in 2012.

The Temple of Literature was listed as one of Viet Nam’s 34 national special relics in 2012.

For more information, please contact Ms. Hoang Minh Nguyet, UNESCO Viet Nam's Communication and Information Programme Coordinator, at hm.nguyet(at)unesco.org

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