The Apsara National Authority (ANA) will complete the restoration of a 20-metre-long embankment at the north of Angkor Wat's causeway in November, with two large lion statues to be returned to the causeway, 25 years after they were removed.

In an October 28 press release, the ANA quoted a restoration team from the Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology, who claimed the restoration project should be completed ahead of schedule due to their fast work preparing the new laterite. The original ancient sandstone staircases would soon be restored to the original location, as only a few blocks of the upper stairs remain to be replaced.

Nong Boravy, an archaeologist from the preventive archaeology department, expected the work to be completed by the end of November.

She said the project began in March, but only about ten per cent of the work still needed to be completed. The cleaning and filling of new sandstone is being done to replace the missing stone, she added, saying this would stabilise the stairs.

Since 2013, the ANA has implemented seven phases of the restoration of the 143-metre causeway.

In the meantime, ANA said that two lion statues will be brought back to the northern part of the central terrace of Angkor Wat's causeway.

Two lion statues will be placed on the central terrace of Angkor Wat's causeway after the renovation is completed. ANA

Restoration work to the two lion statues that will be returned to the causeway is estimated to be 95 per cent complete. The lions were removed from the site in 1997 and placed in storage. Each is more than two metres tall, and weighs more than three tonnes.

“After the renovations are complete, the lions will be returned to their rightful place on the causeway. It has been 25 years since they were removed,” said the ANA.