The expensive programme to repair, preserve and protect Angkor Wat’s moat has been set back due to the worldwide economic malaise, according to Mao Loa, Apsara Authority’s director of Department of Monuments Conservation and Preventive Archaeology in the Angkor Complex.
The plan to repair the moat has been in place since 2001, with restoration work to be shared between Cambodia, Japan, Italy and Germany.
But the project stalled because of the global financial crisis.
The length of the moat surrounding Angkor Wat temple is about 6,000 metres. The estimated repair cost of around US$1,200 per metre means the full cost of the project will ultimately be $7.2 million, with much of the work to be done by teams working underwater.
During 2001-2004, an Italian team completed a 60-metre section, and pledged to help restore another 30-metre length before 2013.
Although there have been offers of help, no cash been put on the table to date.
Mao Loa said she hoped that after Italy finished its promised 30-metre section, other donors would emerge to provide financial support.
“We hope other countries will be interested and by then the economy should also be good,” she said, adding that if any work on the moat was deemed to be urgent, the aurthority would, if necessary, use funds from the national budget for the repairs.