Banteay Srei

The temple of Banteay Srei (the citadel of women, or of fortune or of Lakshmi, the two Sanskrit words strī and śrī becoming homonyms in Khmer) is located on the site of the ancient city of Iśvarapura (the city of the Lord, i. e. the city of Shiva) 20 km northeast of Angkor in Cambodia. 

It was built in the 10th century in pink sandstone and laterite, and probably consecrated in 967, under the reign of Jayavarman V and dedicated to Tribhuvanamaheśvara (Lord of the Three Worlds).

It was discovered and cleared late in 1924 by archaeologists from the École française d'Extrême-Orient who highlighted the exceptional freshness of its decorations.

In 1923, seeking to steal bas-reliefs and other elements of the still little known site, André Malraux, his wife Clara and his friend Louis Chevasson were caught in the act of looting on their return to Phnom Penh. The sculptures cut by Malraux are placed in the National Museum of Phnom Penh before being integrated into the restoration of the monument led by Henri Marchal. It was at the end of this exemplary restoration that it was decided to protect two pediments in museums. The first was sent to the National Museum in Phnom Penh, the second was given to France as a testimony to the restoration and has been kept, since 1936, at the Musée Guimet in Paris.