Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The head of Jayavarman VII in the Guimet Museum in Paris
I have a bunch of pictures from the Phimai Museum to post here very soon but one of the really disappointing elements of not gaining access to the inner exhibition rooms - my visit was on a Monday when everything seems to shut down in Isaan except the temple itself - was not being able to see the statue of Jayavarman VII, which was found in the ruins at Phimai and now resides in the museum. I've seen practically identical statues in the museums in Phnom Penh and the Guimet in Paris (pictured above), so missing out on the one in Phimai was a real bummer. And yes, it's high-time a proper motion picture was put together about the life and times of this 12th century mesmeric leader who presided over battles, carried out incredible construction projects, major temples as well as schools, hospitals and roads, as well as introducing a new Mahayana Buddhism to the country. They would do well to read the fictionalized account of his life in Geoff Ryman's superb novel, The King's Last Song as a starting point.
A sandstone copy of the Jayavarman VII statue found in Phimai, the original now resides in the nearby museum

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jayvarman's status in Paris looks happy, bright and serene, at peace with his surrounding and the duplicated status in Thailand looks miserable. I feel bad for the soul of my great king he must not like to be trapped in Thailand. One day Cambodia will reunite as one great kingdom again.

February 17, 2010 at 4:19 AM  

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