Connect with us

Southeast Asia

Saving ancient stone – restoration of the Angkor heritage sites

Thaiger

Published

 on 

by China Daily – Asia News Network

August is probably not the best time for tourists to travel to Angkor Was (Angkor Archaeological Park) in northern Cambodia – the rainy season brings particularly muggy conditions.

But for Yuan Mengxi, an assistant researcher at the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, her trip last month was perhaps one of her most exciting although she had been there more than 10 times.

Restoration of Ta Keo, a temple at the site built in the 10th and 11th centuries, has been completed.

“The work has been long and tough,” Yuan said.

“But it is meaningful when you see locals, including the elderly and children, continuing to worship deities at the shrines.”

The park houses the major tourist attraction of Angkor Wat and welcomes visitors from around the world.

But when the Angkor complex was entered onto the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1992, it was also labeled as being “in danger” due to unstable foundational architecture and severe damage caused over time by warfare. Many parts of the temples there have collapsed, and refurbishing foundations posed potential hazards to workers.

As a result, the International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor, also known as ICC-Angkor, was organised in 1993 under the UNESCO framework. China is one of the members of this committee.

Yuan visited Ta Keo to inspect the restoration work, which the academy started in 2010.

“Maybe it’s our best way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ICC-Angkor and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia,” she said.

Construction of Ta Keo as a “state temple” began during the reign of Jayavarman V, a ruler during the Khmer Empire (802-1431). Covering 46,000 square meters, the site is generally considered one of the most magnificent temple-mountains in Angkor.

The term temple-mountain refers to the style for the construction of state temples during the Khmer Empire, which was influenced by Indian temple architecture.

“It’s important evidence showing the transition of architectural styles from the early-stage Angkor sites with typical Hindu characters from India to the later ones featuring local Buddhism,” Yuan said.

Ta Keo is also believed to be the first temple built entirely from sandstone in the Khmer Empire. However, when the academy started restoration work, experts had to sift through tens of thousands of fallen stones and largely collapsed halls, corridors and turrets.

“We had to find the right stones in the rubble and put them back,” Yuan said.

“Everything has to be concise. But restoration is far more than putting the fallen stones back. The bulk of the work is done through detailed research before the engineers start.”

Saving ancient stone - restoration of the Angkor heritage sites | News by Thaiger

Chinese specialists help renovate Ta Keo Temple at the Angkor complex in Cambodia in July. [Photo by Mao Pengfei / Xinhua]

STORY: The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Thailand's largest online portal for news and information.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand11 hours ago

17 people in close contact with Omicron-infected traveller test negative

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Omicron under control, Illegal border crossing, Thailand’s recovery | Dec 7

Thailand11 hours ago

Crane collapses in Samut Prakan, killing a man and injuring 2 others

advertiseadvertise
Crime12 hours ago

Chiang Mai street vendor with busty top files sexual harassment complaint with police

Thailand12 hours ago

Three arrested in human trafficking crackdown near Myanmar border

Thailand12 hours ago

Hua Hin luxury resort guest claims “peeping Toms” stared at him naked

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand13 hours ago

168 Thai soldiers apparently forced to finish masturbating before showering

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Hotel staff in close contact with Omicron confirmed to be negative in second test

Video14 hours ago

Grammar mistakes, Homemade coffee, Bhutan | Thaiger Bites | Ep.76

Southeast Asia15 hours ago

Myanmar ousted leader’s prison sentence reduced to two years

Chon Buri15 hours ago

Tourists stranded an island off the coast of Sattahip rescued by Royal Thai Navy

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand deploys “King Cobra” unit at Myanmar border to monitor illegal crossings

Phuket17 hours ago

Thai Airways offering round trip Sydney-Phuket flights

Chiang Mai17 hours ago

1 tourist killed, 8 wounded in crash while on tour of Chiang Mai mountain

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Hotel staff in close contact to Omicron case tests positive for Covid, variant not confirmed

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism10 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism10 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending