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Tourists walk through Angkor Wat in Siem Reap last year. Yesterday the government called on UNESCO to work closer with Apsara Authority officials at the meeting of the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor.
Tourists walk through Angkor Wat in Siem Reap last year. Yesterday the government called on UNESCO to work closer with Apsara Authority officials at the meeting of the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor. Heng Chivoan

Help sought to preserve Angkor Wat

As experts warn that Angkor’s stonework is in need of maintenance, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An called on UNESCO yesterday to engage in closer cooperation with Apsara Authority officials over the temple complex’s preservation.

A two-day meeting of the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor (ICC), a biannual gathering of Angkor preservation experts, got under way in Siem Reap yesterday, with An taking the opportunity to call for greater support for local authorities responsible for the temples, according to Apsara Authority spokesperson Long Kosal.

“Deputy Prime Minister Sok An requested that experts from UNESCO share modern technical ideas, training and their experiences with Apsara officials in order to improve the human resources protecting and preserving the Angkor archaeological site,” Kosal said.

Chau Sun Kerya, also an Apsara spokesperson, said experts yesterday warned that the site needs more attention.

“The experts recommended that we take additional care of Angkor Wat, because it’s the largest and most visited temple in the park, so it sees a lot of tourists,” Kerya said. “Because the stones age and get worn down by weather and pollution.”

Also discussed at yesterday’s session was the ongoing plan to replace a wooden bas-relief ceiling at Angkor Wat’s east end known as the Churning of the Sea of Milk gallery.

Scheduled to be completed by June 2017, plans to replicate the ceiling from a fragment currently held at the Guimet Museum in Paris were approved by the ICC last December.

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