The National Museum said it is planning the reassembly of two arms from an ancient statue of King Jayavarman VII.

The museum said on January 28 that the fragments of the left arm were discovered by French architect Henri Marchal in 1924 and taken to the Angkor Conservation Museum in 1931.

French polymath Georges Groslier had them bought to the National Museum and reassembled in late 1934. It was not until 1998 that a researcher at the National Museum observed that they had been assembled incorrectly, and took them apart for reassembly. The work was completed in 1999.

The right arm was discovered in 1990. Renowned Khmer researcher Michel Trane first hypothesised that the two pieces were the hands of King Jayavarman VII, but did not have the opportunity to try to assemble.

“His hypothesis was confirmed in 2019 by a French research team using 3D scanning technology. It showed that the broken sections overlapped almost perfectly,” said the museum.

Earlier this month, teams from the stone conservation workshop and the French School of the Far East (EFEO) conducted an evaluation of the different techniques that could be used to assemble the two hands.

“The purpose of restoring these fragments is to commemorate and enhance the prestige of the Angkorian kings,” said the museum.