The Battambang Museum: Preserving Artifacts Through War and Peace

The Battambang Provincial Museum, which stands across the street from the Sangke River in the heart of Battambang City, was officially inaugurated by the late King Norodom Sihanouk in 1968.

Meant to display and preserve the country’s historical artworks and artifacts, the museum was turned into a prison during the Khmer Rouge regime of April 1975 through January 1979, according to the Battambang Department of Tourism.

Fortunately, damage done in certain parts of the museum during the years of conflicts and war was manageable. In 1997, the museum underwent renovation initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. Storage space was added, and two wings were built around 2010. 

Then in 2015, Friends of Khmer Culture—an organization that supports conservation and training programs—helped improve displays for the museum’s 1,000 or so artifacts, including lighting and signage in Khmer and English.

Today, the Battambang Museum is a welcoming site for Cambodian and foreign visitors. Its displays present an overview of the country’s culture and history that goes back millennia, as well as the unique individuality of Battambang province. As they tour the museum, visitors will learn about the pre-Angkorian and Angkorian eras through artifacts and sculptures as well as architectural details and styles of those periods.

The Battambang museum has tour guides on hand to help explain to visitors the story behind the architectural features and antiquities displayed in the galleries.

For information on the museum and opening hours, visit the site on Battambang city:

Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Song Daphea for Cambodianess.

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