Vientiane

The Vientiane Centre, Laos

Vientiane Centre

Head: Michel Lorrillard
Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, FEML
1 rue Sisangvone - Unit 6
Bane Naxay
BP 3248
Vientiane, Laos
Tel.: + 856 21 41 46 20
Fax: + 856 21 41 39 52
michel.lorrillard@efeo.net

In 1951 the Laotian government entrusted the EFEO with the mission to preserve and restore its historical monuments and to manage the nation's museums. At the same time, the EFEO was authorized to carry out archaeological excavations. The School's official presence in Laos led to the arrival of the art historian and philologist Henri Deydier, the ethnologist Charles Archaimbault - renowned for his comparative work on Laotian principalities, and Pierre-Bernard Lafont, who resided at the Centre until 1966. Earlier in the 20th century, Henri Parmentier conducted the first research on the religious architecture of Laos and the Khmer temple Vat Phu, while Madeleine Colani carried out a pioneering investigation of a proto-historic site, the Plain of Jars. A new cooperation agreement, reached in 1993, with the Laotian Ministry of Information and Culture enabled the EFEO to open a Franco-Laotian Centre for Buddhist and Historical Studies in Vientiane.

Current research at the EFEO Centre in Vientiane is primarily conducted in historical studies based on philology and epigraphy; however, the Centre also undertakes work in disciplines such as ethnology, art history and archaeology. The sum of this activity contributes to a wider program of multidisciplinary research on Buddhist societies spanning Asia, from India to China.

Laos, a landlocked country relatively little affected by its rapidly changing surroundings, offers researchers exceptional conditions for on-site investigation.

Current research program:

  • General epigraphic inventory and publication of Laotian inscriptions
  • Study of Laotian religious literature
  • Material and artistic culture of Laotian Buddhism (archaeology, iconography)
  • Comparative ethnology of Austro-Asiatic minority societies

The Vientiane Center includes a library for the humanities and social sciences -- the only research library in Laos. Since 2007 its publication office has edited a series titled Texts and documents on Laos. The Centre also provides facilities for French and European scholars, as well as doctoral students and EFEO fellowship holders.

EFEO News
Buddhist scribal practices in a transcultural perspective
France, Paris, 25 November 2019
This international workshop is a collaborative effort organized by the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO-Paris) and the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC-Hamburg), which involves scholars in Buddhist studies, codicology, and art history to analyze the connecaons between scribal pracaces agested in various Central and East-Asian Buddhist manuscript cultures, with a focus on mutual influences between them regarding the use of specific ornamental and/or structural marks. Read program here
Conference
Paris, France, 07 November 2019
Alain Arrault gives a lecture on religious statuary in China, Japan and Korea on Thursday, November 7, at 2pm, Salon Pelliot of the Hotel Heidelbach.
This conference is organized by the Société des amis du Musée Guimet, for more details follow the link.
Signing of an MOU with the Institute of Archeology of the National Cheng Kung University
Tainan, Taiwan, 05 November 2019
On November 5, 2019, the EFEO Director signed an MOU with the Institute of Archeology of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan (Taiwan).
Renewal of the cooperation agreement with the Fu Ssu-nien Library of the Academia Sinica
Taipei, Taiwan, 04 November 2019
On Monday, November 4, the EFEO Director and the Director of the Institute of History and Philology of the Academia Sinica have signed the renewal of the cooperation agreement with the Fu Ssu-nien Library of the Academia Sinica.
Louis Finot collection
22 October 2019
2770 stereoscopic photographs of the Louis Finot collection, epigrapher and first director of the EFEO, are posted on the photo library's website.

Legend: Pradak village in the eastern baray, Angkor region, Cambodia (FINL00039).