APSARA NATIONAL AUTHORITY - SIEM REAP - KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

Archeology, research & Concervation

On December 14th 1992, in Santa Fe (USA), the World Heritage Committee requested from the Cambodian national authorities to fulfill 5 conditions, among which the establishment of an adequate staffed national pro- tection and caretaker agency. Thus, the Royal Decree of February 19th 1995, created the Authority for the Protection and Safeguarding of Angkor and the Region of Angkor (its acronym in French, APSARA, is a reference to the celestial dancers).

APSARA NATIONAL AUTHORITY - SIEM REAP - KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

កិច្ចការអភិរក្ស និងជួសជុលនៅ ប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្ត
អង្គរជាប្រាសាទដ៏ល្អត្រកាលនិងធំជាងគេ នៅក្នុងចំណោមប្រាសាទរបស់ខ្មែរទាំងអស់បាន សាងឡើងនៅចំកណ្តាលរាជធានីអង្គរ នៅរវាង ពាក់កណ្តាលនៃសតវត្សរ៍ទី១២ ក្នុងរាជព្រះបាទសូរ្យវរ្ម័នទី២។ ទម្រង់នៃប្រាសាទទាំងមូល រួមនឹង កសិន្ទុមានទទឹង១៩០ម៉ែត្រព័ទ្ធជុំវិញផងនោះ បង្កើតបានជារាងចតុកោណដ៏ធំមួយមានទំហំ១៥០០ម៉ែត្រគុណនឹង១៣០០ម៉ែត្រ គ្របដណ្តប់លើផ្ទៃដីប្រមាណជា៩ហិកតា។ លក្ខណៈ សំខាន់របស់ប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្ត គឺសំណង់ជារាងសាជីជ្រុងមួយ តួប៉មប្រាំ ខ្វែងគ្នាដែលស្ថិតនៅចំកណ្តាលរោងទងព័ទ្ធជុំវិញជាច្រើនជាន់។ ការងារជួសជុលនិងពង្រឹងឡើងវិញ ត្រូវបានដំណើរការឡើងនៅក្នុងគម្រោងអន្តរជាតិដ៏ធំមួយ ដែល ទាក់ទងនឹងក្រុមការងារមកពីប្រទេសបារាំង សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក អាល្លឺម៉ង់ អ៊ីតាលី និងជប៉ុន។
CONSERATION ADN RESTORATION WAORK AT ANGKOR WAT
Angkor Wat, the largest and most beautiful of all Khmer temples, was built in the center of Angkor during the middle of the 12th century during the reign of King Suryavarman II. The entire structure of the temple, along with the 190-meter-wide moat surrounds it, forming a large rectangle measuring 1,500 meters by 1,300 meters, covering an area of approximately 9 hectares. The main feature of Angkor Wat is the pyramidal structure with five interlocking towers located in the center of the multi-story flag factory. Restoration work is implementing in a large international project involving teams from France, the United States, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

បុរាណវិទ្យា ការស្រាវជ្រាវ និងការអភិរក្ស

THE SITE IN TRANSITION

CONSERVATION OF MONUMENTS
First of all, it should be noted that constant monitoring of monuments is ensured, following the indications on the Risk Map. In 2021 a MAINTENANCE UNIT for Conservation (which focuses more on the consolidation of the monuments than on the actual restoration, which is only used in the event of absolute necessity) had been set up. The program, implemented, follows the proposals and prescriptions made in the Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Experts of the ICC.
BAKONG Temple
a brick tower and, most recently, the south-eastern wall of the temple
LOLEI temple (brick temple) a tower and part of the esplanade (with surveys and excavations)
TANEI temple the east gate
TONLE SGNUOT the central tower
ANGKOR WAT
Several points in the main temple of Angkor (considered as a permanent worksite), such as the west gate of the temple (phase 2 of restoration work), the foundations of the entrance door to the east, or the Bakan tower
BANTEAY KDEI Temple the West gate (phase 1)
PREAH KHAN Temple
rehabilitation of the pier (on the BARAY North side)
TAKEO Bridge
on the Siem Reap River, also with private funding, the APSARA National Authority rehabilitated the ROHAT (traditional noria on the river)
In the middle of the historic SRAS SRANG basin (object of conservation and research, for many years), the APSARA National Authority, completed, with private funding (patrimonial patronage), the restitution of the temple which stood there (in the middle of the basin), according to the epigraphy and the archaeological archives of the EFEO. The monument was inaugurated by H.E MEN Sam An, Deputy Prime Minister of the Royal Government and H.E Dr. PHOEURNG Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts
BAYON Temple
(large central temple of the city of Angkor Thom), consolidation work on the 3rd Terrace, at the southwest corner of the Temple
RESTORATION WORKS IN 2020-2021 BY APSARA NATIONAL AUTHORITY
RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES
As is the rule in heritage environments, any major work (consolidation or restoration) requires prior checking of the archaeological soil. It is therefore often necessary to proceed with the development of historical and archaeological documentation and the implementation of archaeological surveys (while studying, if necessary, thanks to the archives, the surveys carried out in the past). The Department of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology, in charge of conservation work, makes sure to strictly follow this rule, along with its archaeologists.
This is how the investigations led, among others, to the following remarkable discoveries:
In the temple of ANGKOR WAT, (absolutely unprecedented in terms of archaeological research in this major temple), wooden structures in the middle of the North basin, and a sculpture of VISHNU in the ceiling, Likewise, in the area of the same Temple, to the west of PREAHPOAN, that of statues of BUDDHA, for the conservation of which (and sometimes, the restoration) is planned an international workshop bringing together specialists in the Conservation of stone sculptures,
ANGKOR WAT – DISCOVERY OF WOODEN STRUCTURES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NORTH BASIN
during the restoration of the Gate of TAKAV (Angkor Thom) of a statue of a divinity with four faces, buried in the ground near the northeast corner of the gate,as well as a head of Deva (we recall that statues of Devas churning the “sea of milk, shooting a Naga, adorn all the doors of Angkor Thom),
Discovery of 3 lead turtles at the ELEPHANT TERRACE,
Discovery of a Head of LOKESVARAK at TA NEI,
Discovery of structural elements of the Temple of LOLEI, buried in the ground of the courtyard,
Discovery of structural elements of the monument that stood in the middle of the central island of the SRAS SRANG

CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES IN ANGKOR CONDUCTED BY INTERNATIONAL TEAMS

HER EXCELLCENCY DR. PHOEURNG SACKONA, MINISTER OF CULTURE AND FINE ARTS AND HIS EXCELLENCY PATRICK W MURPHY, THE AMBASSADOR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO CAMBODIA
As mentioned in the introduction, a number of international teams (members of the ICC) were able to remain in Angkor and continue the implementation of their programs, in liaison with the APSARA National Authority and informing the Ad Hoc Experts of the ICC


Archaeological Survey of INDIA (ASI) - Temple of TA PROHM;
World Monument Fund (WMF) - Temple of PHNOM BAKENG (Funded by the United States Embassy in Phnom Penh - signature on January 16, 2021 of an official agreement for the disbursement of funds);
SOPHIA University (JAPAN) in collaboration with APSARA, Works at the West Causeway of ANGKOR WAT;
Governmental Team of JAPAN, in collaboration with APSARA, JASA Project, Works at the BAYON Temple;
The team from the Republic of Korea (KOCHEF - Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, funded by KOICA), resumed its work both at the PREAH PITHU Temples (overlooking the Royal Palace) and (new project under implementation) the ELEPHANT TERRACE, a large retaining wall for the right-of-way of the Royal Palace from the time of Jayavarman VII);
France financially supports two important operations:
- Consolidation and restoration of the WEST MEBON Temple, now technically supported by the APSARA National Authority
- The training of 10 Cambodian in the field of 3D image photography of monuments (training provided by the French start-up ICONEM).