VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Ho Phra Keo
Vientiane, Laos
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Information

Ho Phra Keo dates from the 16th Century. It owes its name to the statue of Buddha in green jade, which was brought by King Setthathirath from Xiangmai in 1548. Two centuries later, in an early pillaging of Vientiane, the Siamese seized the statue to install it in the Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. In 1826 Vientiane was sacked again by the Siamese. The Ho Phra Kaew was pillaged, like all temples in the city. The city itself disappeared, invaded little by little by the jungle, where it was discovered again by a French naval officer around 1870. In the latter half of the 19th Century Vientiane began to return to life and little by little temples were restored. Only the Ho Phra Keo remained in rubble. Prince Suvanna Phuma restored Ho Phra Keo with the assistance of the French colonial administration and the rebuilding was completed in 1942. It was decided that instead of returning it to worship, it would be turned into a museum. Many objects in the meantime had been brought to the Louis Finot Museum in Hanoi by the French administration and it was not until 1953 restitution of the objects was complete. Some of the pieces still are inscribed with “Hanoi No. – “ The museum was neglected due to an unstable political situation and had to wait until 1969 to get more serious attention. The esthetic value of the monument is clear, for the reconstruction followed the original plans, but its archaeological value is much less. Nothing is left of the original building. Only the East Door and the West door are original.

Map Of Museums

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Address
 
City
Vientiane
Country
Laos 
Website
Contributor
Sulinthorn Phetxomphu, Kochone Keomanivong, director; Boun Heuang Bouasisengpaseuth 

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