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An historic house in danger of collapse in Hoi An City will be restored with VND1.5 billion (US$71,428) donated by the Netherlands-based Prince Claus Fund.

Restoration of the house at 14 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, built hundreds of years ago, is expected to be completed by June.

Meanwhile, the Old Quarter in Hoi An will undergo maintenance with VND5 billion ($238,000) provided from the Government and city budgets and VND1 billion ($47,600) from Quang Nam Province's preferential loans.

Entries sought for Quang Ngai legends photo competition

A photo competition involving legends of Quang Ngai Province and its main attractions, the An Mountain and Tra River, has just been launched.

The aim of the competition, run by the Quang Ngai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in co-operation with the Viet Nam Photographers Association, is to promote tourism in the region.

Entrants are invited to submit their black- and-white or colour photos of landscape, historical places, people and cultural activities taken since January 1, 2010.

Entries close on June 15.

Memorial service held for Paracel Island troops

An annual memorial service to soldiers who died protecting the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago over the centuries took place at a communal house on Ly Son Island yesterday, April 18.

The ceremony expressed gratitude to soldiers who lost their lives while serving on the islands. Residents created images of brave young troops crossing the East Sea in small bamboo boats.

Meanwhile, Quang Ngai Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism held a festival on the mainland for people from mountainous areas in the province and from Ly Son.

Home decor show attracts importers

More than 200 local exporters with 700 booths are showcasing their latest designs in home decor items and giftware at the 2nd International Viet Nam Home Decor and Gifts Fair, LifeStyle Viet Nam 2011, which opened yesterday, April 18, in HCM City.

The annual event attracted more than 1,350 importers of home decor items and gifts from 28 countries and territories, including 400 Japanese companies, 150 from the US, 100 from Australia and more than 300 from Europe, said Do Nhu Dinh, chairman of the Viet Nam Handicraft Exporters Association (Vietcraft).

Vietcraft, the organiser of the fair, said it wanted to raise the profile of LifeStyle Viet Nam as a major international fair in Southeast Asia for home decor items and gifts by 2015.

The fair helped local exporters, particularly handicraft makers, connect with new buyers and create new business relations, Dinh said.

"Being mainly export-oriented, the Vietnamese handicrafts sector is internationally recognised as one of the most competitive suppliers," said Koen Oosterom, senior technical adviser with the International Trade Centre.

"To give an example, Viet Nam is second only to China as an exporter of home decor items to the EU," he said.

Increased export sales would directly contribute to job creation and increase in income for thousands of families participating in handicraft production as local production of home decor items remained predominantly handmade, he said.

It would also contribute significantly to the raising of the competitiveness of Viet Nam as a top exporter of home decor items, he added.

Seminars on sustainable production and 2012 trends in home decor and gifts for the Australian, Japanese, the US and European markets are also being held.

The event at the Tan Binh Exhibition and Convention Centre in Tan Binh District will end on Thursday.

Archipelago photos go on show, then tour province

A photo exhibition themed Hoang Sa [Paracel], a view from Ly Son opened in Quang Ngai City on Saturday.

Photo-journalist Nguyen Van Minh of the e-newspaper Vnexpress, has put on display 58 silk-screens of the landscape and people of Ly Son District, especially of the Vietnamese troops on the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes where they affirm Viet Nam's sovereignty.

Minh will donate his photos to the Ly Son District People's Committee which will put them on show at a museum in Quang Ngai City. The exhibition will run until Friday and then tour schools in the province.