Largest statue of Buddha inaugurated

Saigon Times Weekly, 2 April 2005

Hanoi, Vietnam -- Van Hanh Zen Monastery in Dalat City held a solemn ceremony to inaugurate its large Sakyamuni statue. This is thought to be the largest statue of Buddha in Vietnam. Building the statue started in April 2002 and it has had a total cost of VND1.2 billion. The money is mainly from Buddhists nationally.

The statue's frame was made from reinforced concrete and its outside is white cement and gypsum. The statue is 24m high and has a 20m-diameter base in the shape of a lotus. It will be not only a place for Buddhists to worship but also something to greatly interest tourists.

Two big Cham ceramic vases up for auction Two of Vietnam's biggest Cham-style ceramic vases, made by Nhat Chi Lan, a leading designer, and three Cham workers in Bau Truc pottery village in Ninh Thuan Province, are expected to be brought to HCM City in mid-April to be auctioned to raise money for a scholarship fund for poor Cham children.

Lan said that the two vases, which are 2m high and have a diameter of 0.5m each, are made in the style of vases used in Cham temples in the 16th century. This is the first time that four sides of Cham vases of such a size have been fully covered with embossments, in this case showing the cultural and religious life of the Cham people.