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National Museum

The National Museum of Cambodia is housed in a graceful terracotta structure of traditional design (built 1917-20) just north of the Royal Palace. It is open daily from 8 to 11 am and from 2 to 5 pm; entry is $3. Photography is prohibited inside. The School of Fine Arts (École des Beaux-arts) has its headquarters in a structure behind the main building.

Guides who speak French and English are available, and there is also a booklet - Khmer Art in Stone - available at the front desk for US$3, which gives a rundown with locations of the most important objects on display.

The museum comprises four courtyards which face onto a garden courtyards to the left and straight ahead of the entrance.

National MuseumSome highlights include the eight-armed statue of  Vishnu from the 6th or 7th century, the statue of Shiva (circa 877-866) and the sublime statue of Jayavarman VII seated (circa 1181-1218), his head bowed slightly in a meditative pose.

Elsewhere around the museum are display of pottery and bronzes dating from the pre-Angkor periods of Funan and Chenla (4th to 9th centuries), the Indravraman period (9th and 10th centuries), the classical Angkor period (10th to 14th centuries), as well as more recent works.