Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angkor Thom restoration complete

Angkor Thom restoration complete

People work on a restoration project at Siem Reap’s Angkor Thom last week to repair damage from a 2011 typhoon.
People work on a restoration project at Siem Reap’s Angkor Thom last week to repair damage from a 2011 typhoon. Zoe Holman

Angkor Thom restoration complete

Major restoration works have been completed at the former seat of power of the Angkorian civilisation, Angkor Thom, following damage inflicted to the site by Typhoon Nesat in 2011.

Funded and implemented by the Apsara Authority, the project began last year to repair damage to the 12-kilometre outer wall of the enclosure that neighbours Angkor Wat and was the last and most enduring capital of the Khmer Empire.

“Angkor Thom was the centre of the Cambodian empire for 500 years, so restoring it was extremely significant,” said Long Kosal, an Apsara spokesman.

While Angkor Wat remained unscathed, Typhoon Nesat saw many parts of Angkor Thom submerged, bringing down the walls of the 12th-century site and threatening other structures. “The impact of the collapse was very strong, so it was urgent to repair the wall so that no further damage was caused,” Kosal said.

Despite last week’s completed restoration, conservation experts at Angkor Thom are continuing to conduct risk assessments to gauge the damage to the site that once housed the Royal Palace and renowned Bayon Temple.

Vanna Ly, director of the department of conservation of monuments in Angkor, who oversaw the project, said the restoration reflected a major accomplishment in terms of technical skill and research expertise.

“Conservation cannot be separated from archaeology,” he said, explaining that extensive investigation and planning were required to ensure the stone restoration conformed to Angkor Thom’s original design.

He also noted that many of the original construction methods used at Angkor Thom, including how workers lifted stones weighing up to 2.5 tonnes, remained a source of mystery to experts.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all