The Metropolitan Museum of New York opens an exhibition on the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

The Metropolitan Museum of New York opens an exhibition on the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia


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The Metropolitan Art Museum An exhibition dedicated to Hindu-Buddhist art of the first millennium has opened on Monday, April 14. Will be presented 160 sculptures, many of them on a large scale, terracotta and bronzes. Also included are a number of national treasures loaned by the governments of Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, as well as loans from France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

This huge exhibition will be the first to present religious art developed from the early 5th to the late 8th century in the kingdoms of the region, and its archaeological traces will be able to lay the foundations of a political map of Southeast Asia.

The CEO of Metropolitan museum, Thomas P. Campbell, said: “Exhibitions with this level of previously unknown material and of such importance come very rarely. Most of the important and breathtakingly beautiful works have never traveled outside their home country before. We are indebted to the generosity of all international lenders, including several in Southeast Asia and Europe. We are especially proud that the government of Myanmar has signed its international loan agreement for the first time to lend its national treasures for this exhibition.”.

Recent field studies have allowed redefine the cultural parameters of Southeast Asia at that time, regions that created some of the most formidable and impressive sculptures of the Hindu-Buddhist world in the first millennium. The results obtained from the investigations will be presented at the exhibition.

Among the dozens of striking works in the exhibition we find a 6th century Buddha, a spectacular Krishna Holding and a 7th century Avalokiteshvara discovered in the Mekong Delta.

The organization of the exhibition will be based on seven sections that represent the great narratives that have shaped the different cultural identities of the regions.

The section dedicated to Buddhism You will explore the first samples of the Buddhist faith in Southeast Asia. In this part you will find precious objects discovered in a chamber of the ancient walled city of Pyu de Sri Ksetra, located in central Myanmar.

In the hindu section the responsiveness of the current rulers towards Hinduism is illustrated. The rulers dedicated many shrines to Vishnu and a selection of these shrines has been made for display to scale at the Metropolitan Museum.

The last section is dedicated to the cult of Bodhisattva, Buddhist saviors and their spread across Southeast Asia.

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