Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cambodian National Museum

Entrance to Museum
After seeing the brutality of the Khmer Rouge prison and the Killing Fields we decided to go to the Cambodian National Museum in Phnom Penh and see some art objects from the different khmer Hindu and Buddhist eras. 

Sculpture at Entrance
The Museum buildings, inspired by Khmer temple architecture, were constructed between 1917 and 1924. The museum was officially inaugurated in 1920.

Central Museum Square
During Khmer Rouge regime of 1975-79, all aspects of Cambodian life including cultural life were devastated. The Museum, along with the rest of Phnom Penh, was evacuated and abandoned. The Museum, closed between 1975 and 1979, was found in disrepair, its roof rotted and home to a vast colony of bats. The garden was overgrown, and the collection in disarray, many objects damaged or stolen. The Museum was quickly repaired and reopened to the public on April 13, 1979. Unfortunately, many of the Museum's employees had lost their lives during the Khmer Rouge regime.

The museum now houses one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art, including sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, and other objects. The collection includes over 14,000 items, dating from prehistoric times to periods before, during, and after the Khmer Empire.

Hallway statuary
The National Museum of Cambodia works to enhance knowledge of and preserve Cambodian cultural traditions and provide a source of pride and identity to the Cambodian people. The Museum also serves a religious function; its collection of important Buddhist and Hindu sculpture addresses community religious needs as a place of worship.

Outdoor Statuary
A visit to the National museum is a fascinating way to see the history of the  different periods of Khmer life. The Museum of Cambodia is located on Street 13 in central Phnom Penh, next to the Royal Palace.

Opening hours are from 8.00am until 5.00pm daily. Admission costs are $5 for foreign visitors, 500 riels for Cambodians. Children and school groups are free

Highly Recommended! 

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