U.S. Government Continues to Help Preserving Phnom Bakheng Temple

AKP Phnom Penh, December 12, 2017 —

The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh announced here today that the Cultural Heritage Centre for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State has awarded US$350,000 from the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation to World Monuments Fund (WMF) for Phase 5 of the conservation of the 10th‐century temple of Phnom Bakheng at Angkor Park.

According to the embassy’s press release, Cambodia is one of the nine countries – including Bolivia, Burma, Israel, Mexico, Moldova, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Thailand – that received support in FY 2017 for the preservation of ancient and historic sites through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Large Grants Programme.

Phnom Bakheng is Angkor’s oldest temple and one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures.  Since 2008, the Phnom Bakheng conservation project has focused on the structural stabilisation and waterproofing of the east half of the central temple, while incorporating site management and training activities. Phase 5 of the project will advance and complete the restoration of the east half of the pyramid according to a restoration design that has been elaborated and fine-tuned in earlier phases of the project. The intervention will reinstate the temple’s original structure and water management system by using both traditional and modern materials. The project advances the vision developed in the 2007 Phnom Bakheng Conservation Master Plan. WMF developed the conservation programme in close collaboration with APSARA National Authority and UNESCO Ad Hoc Experts, who meet regularly through the Angkor ICC.

Since 2004, World Monuments Fund has received over US$3.2 million to preserve the Phnom Bakheng Temple from the U.S. government. World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organisation devoted to saving the world’s most treasured places. For over 45 years, its highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe.

The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation was established to help preserve significant cultural heritage sites. In addition to Phnom Bakheng, the U.S. Government has also provided grants to help preserve other significant cultural heritage sites in Cambodia, including Prasat Han Chey in Kampong Cham province and Prasat Phnom Da in Angkor Borey, Takeo province. U.S. assistance for cultural preservation projects in Cambodia totals US$4,272,465, with US$3,326,365 of this from the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.

By Khan Sophirom

 

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