US provides nearly $1 million for Bakheng temple restoration

US provides nearly $1 million for Bakheng temple restoration

bakheng-ii.jpg
bakheng-ii.jpg

Photo courtesy of

WMF/Glenn Boornazian

Thousands of tourists descend on Phnom Bakheng each afternoon to enjoy the sunset over nearby Angkor Wat temple.

The United States will provide almost a million dollars for continued preservation and conservation work on the Phnom Bakheng temple at the Angkor Archaeological Zone in Siem Reap, the US embassy said in a statement.

The $978,705, provided through the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation to the World Monuments Fund, will allow work to be done on the 9th century Hindu temple's most visible, but heavily-damaged portion.

“The historic city of Angkor is one of the world’s cultural and architectural wonders.  Conserving its monuments, which are a crucial part of Cambodian history, is one way to promote peace and prosperity in the country," said US Embassy Charge d'Affaires Piper Campbell.

"This grant is therefore a significant diplomatic gesture, and it is important to note that it was made possible by strong Congressional interest," she added, speaking in Siem Reap on June 4.

Phase One of World Monuments Fund’s work at the temple was conducted between 2004 and 2007 with a separate $550,000 grant from the US State Department.

This work included archaeological research, conservation assessments, the creation of a plan for the management of tourism at the site and emergency conservation measures. 

Phase Two will address some of the most urgent challenges at Phnom Bakheng –- protecting the temple structure from further deterioration through stabilization, waterproofing, repairs and partial reconstruction. 

Located on a hilltop, Bakheng is a popular tourist spot to see sunset views of the nearby Angkor Wat temple, the most famous of the monuments in the Angkor complex.

But the large numbers of visitors who scramble each day up Bakheng's worn stairways makes it one of the most threatened temples in the park.

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