Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CP offers 'wat to adopt'



CP offers 'wat to adopt'

CP offers 'wat to adopt'

Conservationists at Angkor Wat are calling for a rich benefactor to step in and help

fund restoration of a recently-discovered temple at Preah Khan beyond the north gate

of Angkor Thom.

The adopt-a-temple project is the brain-child of British architect John Sanday of

the Conservation Project who is seeking $250,000.

Located at the eastern end of the monastic complex built by King Jayavarman VII in

1191, the edifice initially appeared to be no more than a small pile of rubble beneath

the overgrown jungle.

Sanday and his team had walked past the site for nearly a year before realizing that

an entire building lay waiting to be rediscovered.

The temple's vault had collapsed but still continued to support the center of the

structure, said Sanday explaining the reason for its structural preservation.

It is thought to be a dharma sala, a resting house for visiting monks prior to entering

Preah Khan, whose 56 hectares once housed a city of 97,840 inhabitants.

"We call it the chapel on the green," he said.

A group of American tourists clamoring around the site responded enthusiastically

to the idea of sponsoring the temple but stopped short of full-scale adoption.

They were, however, buying the project's T-shirts by the dozen. At $20 each, $18

goes towards the group's restoration work.

Awed by Angkor Wat, the tourists said they enjoyed the more intimate scale of Preah

Khan

"The work here interests us very much," said Leo Greenland, a businessman

visiting from New York.

Work at Preah Khan emphasizes conserving the building as a partial ruin rather than

full restoration.

Work on the dharma sala will take two years but Sanday says his team will not be

employing the technique of anastylosis, whereby a temple is taken down stone by stone

and reconstructed, a process carried out partially in Ta Prohm by French conservationists

in 1954.

Eventually, the entrance to Preah Khan will be from the eastern side, as it was originally,

rather than the west, where it is now.

The project employs and trains a workforce fluctuating between 12 and 90. Many are

students of architecture and archeology from the School of Fine Arts.

It operates under the World Monuments Fund, an American non-profit foundation that

specializes in the preservation of historic buildings around the world.

So far, the cost of conserving Preah Khan, which began in November after two years

of planning, has run to $200,000.

"This is an add-on," said Sanday of the temple up for adoption.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese