The painting “Portrait of President Ho Chi Minh” was presented to Ho Chi Minh Museum by French veteran Pierre Flamen. (Photo: PANO)
Born in Dordogne region of Central France, in 1948 Pierre Flamen first came to Vietnam when he was a soldier in the French army joining the troops in Dien Bien Phu.
At the end of 1949, Pierre Flamen discovered a painting “Portrait of President Ho Chi Minh” on a bamboo bulletin board in an area controlled by the Viet Minh. He removed the picture from the bulletin and stored it. In 1951, on his trip to France on leave, Pierre Flamen took the painting back to his country and preserved it carefully.
Painted by Phan Van Doan, the 30cm x 42cm painting “Portrait of President Ho Chi Minh” was issued in Vietnam’s Yen Bai province to mark the great Vietnamese President’s 59th birthday.
Due to his declining health, fearing that the painting would not be with him forever, the French veteran presented the painting to the Ho Chi Minh Museum, which shows the affection and respect of this French veteran for President Ho Chi Minh.
Sharing with Mrs. Hieu Constant about the mementos he has had for more than 70 years, veteran Pierre Flamen confided: “I am a bit sorry, because I really like and stick with the picture, but I think it deserves to be where it needs to be, with history. I think that maybe Vietnamese people are surprised to see a French soldier who brought this picture with me. But for me, it was an extremely precious memory. This is a meticulously executed picture and clearly shows the talent of the artist. President Ho Chi Minh has left, but he is always in my heart.”
Sharing with Hieu Constant, a writer, journalist and translator, Mr. Pierre Flamen said that the painting is a precious memory for him. “Although President Ho Chi Minh passed away, he is always in my heart,” he added./.