12 June 2007 (France 24) – A new museum opens in November, near the Angkor complex, showcasing some 274 Buddha-heads once thought lost.
New Cambodian museum to show lost Buddhas
The Japanese-led research team found the statues in 2001 some six kilometres (four miles) from Angkor Wat, the former capital of the powerful Khmer empire and emblem of Cambodian identity.
The statues will go on display in November in the new two-storey Preah Norodom Sihanouk Museum, named after Cambodia’s former king, team leader Yoshiaki Ishizawa said.
“By exhibiting the Buddhist statues, I hope the museum will be able to complement what is lacking in Angkor Wat and that is to offer idols dating from ancient times,” said Ishizawa, who is also president of Tokyo’s Sophia University.
The statues, crafted between the 11th and 13th centuries and some as tall as 1.2 metres, were buried underground after the apparent destruction of a temple.
Looking back at the team’s moment of excavation, Ishizawa said: “Our Cambodian members were getting a bit emotional, with their hands trembling with excitement.”
Read more about the new Preah Norodom Sihanouk Museum.
Books about Angkor and the statuary of Angkor:
– Narrative Sculpture and Literary Traditions in South and Southeast Asia (Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology) by J. Fontein and M. J. Klokke (Eds)
– Khmer Mythology: Secrets Of Angkor Wat by V. Roveda
– Angkor (New Horizons) by B. Dagens
– Apsarases at Angkor Wat, in Indian context by K. M. Srivastava
– Khmer sculpture and the Angkor civilization by M. Giteau