Sunday, 28 July 2013

National Museum of Cambodia

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National Museum of Cambodia artifacts are some of the most unique and fascinating of all museums in the region. The collection is especially notable for the Khmer collection of sculptures; it spans more than a millennium. The National Museum is a great place for visitors wishing to broaden their understanding of pre and post Angkor periods through ancient art and artifacts and to gain a deeper understanding of the Cambodian people.

 A few hours allows a thorough look around, time to read the history offered behind many of the works, and enjoy a look around the scenic, pleasant outdoor area.

The almost century-old building is located on the north side of the Royal Palace; it complements the museum’s elegant terracotta exterior, built in traditional Khmer design between 1917 and 1920. The pretty gardens encircled by the museum and backdrop of dual rivers (Tonle Sap River and Mekong River) add an extra-inviting appeal to the entire picture. Each year more than 100,000 tourists make their way through the museum, exploring the ancient artifacts. Due to the convenient situation of the Royal Palace directly beside the building, most people tour the palace and also visit the museum in the same day. If walking from the northeast side of the city, take the riverfront pathway for a particularly scenic stroll and make a day of it.

Divided into several distinct categories, the National Museum of Cambodia offers a look at prehistoric artifacts, wood, stone, and bronze sculptures, and ethnographic pieces from three predominant Angkor periods. The collections that consistently receive accolades are the bronze and stone sculptures, considered two of the finest of any known.  

Some statues represent styling from Phnom Da, a pre-Angkor design approach. The eight-armed Vishnu, one of the stone representations of several Hindu deities that are part of the collection is the most laudable.

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