The APSARA National Authority (ANA) announced on July 3 that 77 artefacts – including plates and pottery, bracelets, knives and axes – have been donated to the Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum for preservation

The artefacts, some intact with others in pieces, were handed over to the Siem Reap museum by local businessman Nak Borun.

On discovering the Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum specialised in preserving ancient objects of artistic and cultural importance, Borun decided to donate the artefacts to the institution to take care of as inheritance for future generations, ANA said.

Borun had bought a number of of the 77 objects – some of which originated in Battambang province and some from Banteay Meanchey – from villagers, it added, while others were given to him. He did not know the age of the artefacts.

Having seen hundreds of other artefacts expertly preserved, ANA said Borun was delighted to have donated the items to the museum, satisfied he had made the correct decision.

Phuy Savoeut, the acting director of the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum, said most of the 77 donated artefacts were metal objects and pottery, and likely dated from the prehistoric and Angkorian eras.

“The artifacts that were donated included 24 bracelets and 18 axes, but our experts have not yet been able to determine their exact age,” he said, as quoted by ANA.

He added that after receiving the artefacts, the museum’s experts recorded their length and weight according to procedure, before storing them at a constant temperature for their protection.

“Our experts will clean them, and then attempt to put the broken items back together in their original shape as closely as possible,” Savoeut said.

ANA said that after the experts have conducted research into their history, the museum plans to put the 77 artefacts on public display.

The archaeology body called on anyone in possession of historical objects to hand them over to the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum for preservation and research purposes, and to allow future generations to be able to appreciate their incredible cultural heritage.