On the morning of March 16, 2019, at Ngoc Son Temple (Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi City), the Hanoi Department of Science and Technology organized a ceremony to hand over the specimen of Ho Guom (Sword Lake) Turtle, together with preservation and display cabinets to the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports and Hoan Kiem District People's Committee.
Attendants at the ceremony from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) were Prof. Dr. Phan Ngoc Minh, VAST Vice Chairman; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Trung Minh - General Director of Vietnam Museum of Nature; Assoc. Prof. Phan Ke Long, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Museum of Nature, and officials involved in crafting the Ho Guom Turtle model. Those from Hanoi city were Dr. Le Ngoc Anh, member of the Hanoi Party Executive Committee and Director of Hanoi Department of Science and Technology; Mr. Duong Duc Tuan, member of the Hanoi Party Executive Committee and Secretary of Hoan Kiem District Party Committee; Ms. Bui Thu Hien, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture and Sports and diverse experts and scientists, as well as reporters and editors from central and Hanoi mass media agencies.
Ho Guom Turtle, a species of Rafestus swinhoei (Shanghai Soft Apricot Turtle), is an exceedingly rare animal of which there were only 4 individuals known in the world: one individual in Hoan Kiem Lake, one individual in Dong Mo Lake (Vietnam) and two individuals in China. Ho Guom Turtle has a large size (longer than 2m, weighs 169kg).
After being found dead on January 19, 2016, the specimen of Ho Guom Turtle was preserved at the Vietnam Museum of Nature. As agreed by the Hanoi City Party Committee, Hanoi People's Committee and VAST leaders, the Hanoi Department of Science and Technology signed Contract 01/SKHCN-KHTC on April 24, 2016, with the Vietnam Museum of Nature on making the sample of Ho Guom Turtle. The staff of the Vietnam Museum of Nature, together with two experts from the Berlin Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Erfurt of the the Federal Republic of Germany, made the specimen using plastination technology. This is the most advanced modeling method in the world.
The process of asphaltization of Ho Guom Turtle was conducted over 2 years due to the large size and the weight of the sample, which is one of the largest turtles in the world. The making of the sample must go through many complicated and precise steps, including fixing the specimen, drying water in cells, plasticizing, drying and completing exhibited specimen. During the making, the Vietnam Museum of Nature was provided with images of the turtle skin colour, outstanding features on the body and the eye color by scientists, experts and lovers of Ho Guom Turtle, which helped complete Ho Guom Turtle model as real as possible. In particular, the eyes of the turtle were ordered in Germany according to the image provided by the Vietnam Museum of Nature, ensuring that the eyes are alive, which is the soul of the specimen.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Duong Duc Tuan, Secretary of the Hoan Kiem District Party Committee, said that displaying the specimen of Ho Guom Turtle at the Ngoc Son Temple relic is of extreme significance in promoting spiritual values and the conservation of the special national relic - Ngoc Son Temple, the walking street space, as well as serving scientific research and domestic and foreign visitors.
Addressing the ceremony, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Trung Minh expressed his thanks to the Hanoi Party Committee, the Hanoi People's Committee, the Hanoi Department of Science and Technology, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and its units, for closely coordinating with the Vietnam Museum of Nature in completing the manufacturing of Ho Guom Turtle specimen.
The hand-over and display of Turtle Lake specimen, the sacred object of the people of the capital and the whole country, at Ngoc Son Temple, in the center of the capital Hanoi, will contribute to attracting visitors and enhancing the value of the Ho Guom area.
Specimen of Ho Guom Turtle
At the ceremony
Guests attend the ceremony
Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version