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Photo competition to spotlight VN's world heritage sites

HA NOI — Amateur and professional photographers will display their best images in a competition entitled Vietnamese World Heritages to be held in July.

Launched by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibitions in co-operation with the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA), the Natural Cultural Heritage Department and National Administration of Tourism, the competition aims to draw attention to the value of the nation's UNESCO-recognised world heritages.

UNESCO has recognised the imperial city of Hue, Ha Long Bay, My Son Sanctuary, the ancient town of Hoi An, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, the citadel of Thang Long-Ha Noi, as world heritage sites, and nha nhac (royal court music), the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) gong culture, quan ho (love duet singing) in the northern province of Bac Ninh, ca tru (ceremonial singing), and the Saint Giong Festival as tangible or intangible cultural heritage.

The photo competition will award a first prize worth VND10 million and a gold medal from VAPA. Two second prizes worth VND7 million, three third prizes worth VND5 million, and ten encouragement prizes worth VND2 million would also be awarded, along with certificates from VAPA.

About 250 entries will be selected for display at an exhibition to be held in the central city of Da Nang on National Day, September 2, and in Ha Noi on Liberation Day, October 10.

Vietnamese and foreign photographers are being invited to submit entries, in colour or black-and-white. Images should be sized 30 by 45cm and not previously awarded prizes in other competitions held by the ministry or the association.

Contestants could submit up to 11 entries, which is the number of UNESCO heritage recognitions the nation has received, said competition organiser Vi Kien Thanh. All 11 photos can be taken from a single heritage site, he explained.

However, veteran photographer Van Tho argued, "Eleven photos cannot show the beauty of Vietnamese world heritage. I have taken many photos at the Giong Festival, and I propose that photographers be allowed to send more to the organisation."

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