The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has catalogued 711 of 1,242 artistic objects collected from residents at 91 temples in the Angkor area as they work to identify them and determine their origins.
ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Tuesday that the recently discovered artefacts were fractures of various centuries-old temples within the area.
“The items were broken off from temples. So we have to collect them for safekeeping to be identified in the inventory. We want to know where and when they were retrieved. Hopefully, we can determine their identities,” he said.
Through its Facebook page on Tuesday, the ANA said the identification of the objects are based on reliable information from the type of sculptures, sources, material elements, sizes, locations, dates, photographs and other descriptions.
Identifying them helps facilitate repair work and prevents future loss of artefacts, it said.
Chhouk Somala, the officer in charge of archaeological registration at the Department of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology, said the 711 artistic objects included sandstone carvings with stone inscriptions, sculptures of gods, thrones, pedestals, lintels, gables, diamond fractures, pottery and metallic objects.
“Listing them is of extreme importance. We want to preserve the heritage of the capital of the former Angkor Empire.
“There are still many other artistic objects scattered on the ground and underground. To determine their identities, those objects must be catalogued,” he said.
The ANA said the remaining 531 factures will soon be catalogued.
It said Buddha sculptures and objects were also recently collected by a working group from a guard cottage to the south of the Angkor Temples. They are being kept at the ANA headquarters for further studies and repairs.