North Korea’s Angkor Panorama Museum

Angkor Panorama Museum

Another article about the new Angkor Panorama Museum and North Korea’s deep ties with Cambodia.

Angkor Panorama Museum
Angkor Panorama Museum

North Korea launches charm offensive, exports monumental art to long-time ally Cambodia
AFP, via South China Morning Post, 18 March 2016

In a vast parking lot outside Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temples complex stands a new museum built by North Korea, part of a lucrative charm offensive by a hermit state exporting its monumental art to a handful of foreign allies.

“When people come here sometimes they cannot believe their eyes,” said Yit Chandaroat, of the Angkor Panorama Museum, which opened in December after a construction process shrouded in secrecy.

“They really feel like they are back in the time of Angkor,” he added, referring to the world heritage site which comprises the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th centuries.

Behind him stands the museum’s piece de resistance, an enormous 360-degree panorama that 63 North Korean painters from the state-owned Mansudae Art Studio toiled away on for more than a year. The mural, epic in scale and intricate in detail, covers an area larger than eight tennis courts and reflects the sweeping grandiosity for which Pyongyang’s artists are renowned.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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