A Photo that Should Not Be Taken


To be honest, I visited and explored The National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh only on my first visit to Cambodia, in April 2011, and never been there again. Only one time! After that, -around a couple years ago when I returned to explore Cambodia again-, I just walked on the street across the Museum and considered to visit it again. At a glance I saw the admission fee and it was still out of my budget. Then I remembered that taking photographs was not allowed except in the courtyard. At the end I changed my mind to visit the Museum.

Perhaps I am part of the people who could not accept the rule that museum forbids visitors to take photographs, especially in Cambodia. The reasons were nonsense. About the copyright; tell me who have the copyright of ancient statues that were exhibited in the Museum? It would be a great reason for a modern art painting or art installation but an ancient statue? About using camera flashes; with camera technology today, people can take photos without flashes. About the rule of reducing the crowds against the objects? Come on, who will make a crowd in front of an ancient statue? Also, was there really a traffic jam of people flow inside the Museum? Or will the rule be a way to make a monopoly of the sellers of books, postcards and posters? And about security; why people needed a harder way to steal if they can steal in easier way? Whatever the reasons, the management of Museum should rethink about the implementation of not allowing visitors to take photographs.

The only photograph that I have taken inside the Museum was the upper head of large bronze statue of Reclining Vishnu (Ananta Sayana). I have taken this before I know there was a sign of forbidding visitors to take photographs on the objects. After taking this photo, then I knew that it was not allowed to take picture inside the Museum and stopped to take photographs.


The large bronze statue Vishnu, 11th century

The photograph that I should not be taken was interesting. The head statue of Vishnu, the Hindu God, at the pose of Ananta Sayana was put in front of a beautiful pink lotus flower backdrop.

Believed from 11th century, the bronze head, two arms and part of torso of Vishnu was found underground in 1936 in a deep well of West Mebon island that was located in a huge reservoir, the Western baray. It was predicted around six metres in length.

The bronze statue of Vishnu is one of the masterpiece saved in The National Museum of Cambodia. The museum itself was drafted traditionally with terracotta color by the well-known archaeologist, George Groslier. This building is located next to Royal Palace, a walking distance to Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers.

The museum is open from 8:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon with a siesta-break during lunch time, open seven days a week. The admission fee around $10.00 for adults. Photos are not allowed in the museum, but allowed in the inner-courtyard

This post was written in response to the weekly challenge from Celina’s Blog, Srei’s Notes,  Cerita Riyanti, and also A Rhyme In My Heart, -similar to the old Weekly Photo Challenge from WordPress-, which is the 7th week of 2020 has the theme of Museum, so we are encouraged ourselves to write articles weekly. If you are interested to take part in this challenge, we welcome you… and of course we will be very happy!

3 thoughts on “A Photo that Should Not Be Taken

  1. Aku juga selalu kesal dengan aturan ini. Ngga ngerti poin nya apa sampe sekarang kenapa di beberapa museum masih memberlakukan aturan ini. Sementara museum besar2 seperti Louvre, misalnya, malah mengizinkan untuk menggunakan kamera, tanpa flash dan tripod, tentunya. Untuk alasan flash dan tripod masih masuk akal. Tripod bisa mengganggu pengunjung lain, dan flash kemungkinan bisa mempengaruhi karya seni tsb secara banyak yang berusia ratusan, bahkan ribuan tahun.

    • Nah asik nih aku punya temen nih untuk aturan ini.
      Dan semakin jengkel setelah masuk pihak museum tak bertindak apa2 terhadap orang yang jelas mengambil video. Coba apa bedanya? 😂
      Masalahnya aku jadi gak punya kenangan2 disana dan itu kan hanya utk koleksi pribadi. Ampun deh..

      • Betooolll sekali… Aku pernah ke salah satu museum di Bali (ngga berani sebut nama). Aku tanya dari awal ketika bayar tiket, ‘Mba. Boleh motret ngga di dalam?’ Si Mba bilang hanya di beberapa wilayah tertentu, intinya tempat yang bagus2 ngga boleh difoto. Eh, pas di dalam ada turis kulit putih cekrak cekrek sama kamera poket nya. Petugas diam aja. Ngga adil donk ya, secara kan peraturannya ngga boleh motret, baik pake HP, kamera poket, atau DSLR. Bayarnya mahal pula masuk ke museum itu. Akhirnya ngga tahan, aku samperin turis nya dan dan bilang ,”photography is not allowed”. Mungkin si turis kesel 😆

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