The National Museum hosts a collection of significant pieces crafted from metal, pottery, textiles, paintings and daily items from prehistoric times to the modern era. In addition to its collection of artifacts, the museum also collects everyday items and modern artifacts for future display and publicity – especially rare items that may soon be lost to society.
To showcase the achievements of its researchers and conservationists in the field of Cambodian cultural arts, the museum organises a monthly forum called of public talks. A number of these lectures have been successfully held in the past.
On Friday, August 19, the National Museum hosts a series of talks on the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage by raising two key topics. The lectures take place at 2pm on the official Facebook page of the museum.
The first topic is on the collection and preservation of textiles, presented by Kong Kuntheary, deputy director of the Conservation Office in charge of the textile repair workshop at the museum.
She presents the workshop’s textile conservation work, which can be divided into three stages. First, staff check the condition of the pieces, then carry out conservation and repair work. Finally, they catalogue the item and compile a report on it.
All information related to the artifacts must be recorded and photographed from the beginning to the end of the work.
The second talk discusses the traditional costumes of the Cambodian-Cham. Sar Teymass, an official from the Ministry of Commerce and the coordinator of the Kan Imam Sann Youth for Development, presents an overview of Cham costumes which are still use today.
These include the traditional close-fitting blouse, the different colours which are worn according to age and the dress and accessories of a bride on her wedding day, which shows the modesty of Cham women, but looks beautiful and serene.
Chhay Visoth, director of the museum, told The Post that he hopes the monthly forums will inspire Khmer and foreign speakers, as well as experts and researchers at the National Museum to participate in a movement which disseminates general information on history and cultural art.
“We want to create a platform to showcase the achievements of our researchers – as well as professionals working in the field of artifact conservation – and offer them the opportunity to promote their work,” he said.
In addition, it will also be a forum in which all experts working in arts and culture preservation can participate, he said.
“Therefore, speakers can present works of art and culture, regardless of whether they are Cambodian or foreign researchers. Whether working in the public or private sector, they can showcase the work they do to preserve the Cambodian cultural heritage,” added Visoth.
The programmes presented in the last 3 months varied widely, and this variety will be continued in the future.
“In September, there will be a presentation from the indigenous community in Mondulkiri and a group from Siem Reap will discuss the process of establishing a dance school,” he said.
“We have been preparing these talks for many months. This August we have had a show almost every week, thanks to the large number of speakers who have come forward,” he added.
Previous presentations included “The Study of Fossils in Cambodia”, and a presentation called “Prasat and Pteah” which taught what daily life was like in the Angkor Empire. Miriam Stark, professor of anthropology in University of Hawaii, Alison Kyra Carter, assistant professor in the Anthropology Department of the University of Oregon and Leng Vitou, deputy director of the Department of Archeology and Prehistory of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts delivered the talk.
Im Sokrithy, director of the Department of Temple Preservation in Angkor Park also delivered a previous lecture.