Farewell to an Angkor institution

Farewell to an Angkor institution

100108_7d13c
Christophe Pottier, departing head of the EFEO.

ANGKOR archaeological mainstay Christophe Pottier will leave the Ecole Francais d’Extreme Orient (EFEO) on January 15 after serving as the Asian studies school’s director since 1999. Pottier was involved in opening the centre in Siem Reap in 1992.

The Frenchman will head to Australia to spend a year or two doing research at the University of Sydney’s Cambodia research cluster.

He will remain co-director of the Greater Angkor Project, a joint effort between the EFEO, the University of Sydney and the Apsara Authority.

“I’ll still be in Angkor quite often and be very involved with Angkor studies,” Pottier said.

He arrived in Siem Reap in 1992 with his wife and a 50-kilogram box of belongings on a one-year contract .

“It’s quite funny to be leaving 18 years later,” he said.

So does he feel any sadness on vacating his adopted homeland after so many years?

“I am a stupid, French, archaeologist guy, so I’m not so much into emotions,” he said, cracking a smile.

Pottier restored the Terrace of Leprous King and the northern staircase of the Terrace of the Elephants at Angkor Thom the 1990s. He was also instrumental in discovering the actual enormous size of the ancient Angkor capital, through the use of aerial mapping and spatial analysis. The study of the size and organisation of the Angkor territory was his PhD subject.

Pascal Royere will take over at the EFEO. Royere started work with the EFEO in 1993 and has been supervising the Baphuon temple restoration program since 1995.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the