The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has officially published the first edition of a book titled Guardians of Angkor.
At the book launch at the reception area in front of Angkor Wat on May 23, ANA deputy director-general Long Kosal offered his appreciation to those who have helped preserve Angkor for future generations.
Kosal said that in addition to the characters in the book, there were many other specialists who had contributed to the sustainable conservation of Angkor – in accordance with the ANA’s principles – as well as offering training and the transfer of knowledge from one generation to another.
“The ANA’s vision is to use our training and resources. Those who have superior knowledge transfer it to those who know less,” he said.
He recalled how, in the 1990s, the ANA needed to rely on foreign partners to provide both financial and human resource assistance, in contrast to the modern-day ANA, who are completely capable of carrying out conservation work, temple repair, research and other development work by themselves.
He said the development and conservation work of the ANA had been widely discussed in the past, but little of its research work and sharing of knowledge had been mentioned.
“Thus, the ANA has cooperated with Thmey Thmey [media outlet] to disseminate its other activities and achievements to the public,” he said.
Thmey Thmey confirmed in a May 23 press release that the book reflected on some of the individuals who were behind efforts to protect Angkor.
It added that the first pressings of the book would be published in Khmer, with an English edition to follow. The book acknowledges the Cambodians living and working in the Angkor Archaeological Park area, as well as the other Cambodian professionals who worked hard to manage the restoration of ancient structures
and unearth the less well-known treasures – both above and below ground – and stories from the ancient wonderland.
It said the characters mentioned in the book also include the monks who administer a pagoda that has been present in the Angkor area for about 800 years, the stone masons who have maintained the temples for centuries, and various artisans from the area.
The book also includes the stories of the architects, conservation project managers and the specialists who struggled to revive the less widely known ancient temple of Srah Srang, which is beginning to find the fame it is due.