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Ganesha Displayed in Cambodia's National Museum

on 2001/5/9 9:47:02 ( 1648 reads )


PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, May 9, 2001: Phnom Penh's National Museum of Art, forgotten for many years, is once again showing the world its true colors. The extraordinary collection of bronze and stone statues on display here is unmatched elsewhere in the world. Tragically, looting and war have removed most of the decorative statues and reliefs from Angkor's temples, making the museum's collection all the more important as evidence of the artistic achievements of this ancient culture. The first temporary exhibition in the museum's history took place last year, with a display of statues of Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god. Other gems include the 7th-century statue of the horse-headed Vaijmukha and a delightful tiny 11th-12th century bronze figure of a dancing woman on a lotus flower. Beauty is only part of it. For these are sacred objects, and the museum has taken care to position them much as they would have been placed in temples. Indeed, many of the Cambodians who come to the museum are not simply admiring art works -- they are paying homage to holy icons and small shrines have been set up where offerings of flowers can be made.

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