The Cambodia National Museum is home to the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. Located just north of the Royal Palace, the museum is housed in a graceful terracotta structure of traditional design (built 1917-20), with four courtyards facing a lush courtyard garden: the perfect backdrop to such an outstanding array of delicate objects.
The most significant displays of sculpture are in the courtyards to the left and straight ahead of the entrance. Some highlights include the eight-armed statue of Vishnu from the 6th or 7th century AD, the statue of Shiva (c. 866-77) and the sublime statue of Jayavarman VII seated (c. 1181-1218), his head bowed slightly in a meditative pose. The museum also contains displays of pottery and bronzes dating from the pre-Angkorian periods of Funan and Chenla (4th to 9th centuries), the Indravarman period (9th and 10th centuries), the classical Angkorian period (10th to 14th centuries), as well as more recent works. There is a permanent collection of post-Angkorian Buddhas, many of which were rescued from Angkor Wat when the civil war erupted.