Cambodia to restore centuries-old temple's causeway

World Tuesday 11/June/2024 14:57 PM
By: Xinhua
Cambodia to restore centuries-old temple's causeway

Phnom Penh: Cambodia has prepared to restore the structure of the eastern causeway of Beng Mealea temple in the famed Angkor Archaeological Park, under the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Special Fund, the APSARA National Authority (ANA) said in a news release on Tuesday.

Puth Soth, a technical officer of the ANA's Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology, said a technical team is conducting an archaeological excavation on the structure of the temple's eastern causeway for a restoration project.

"After excavating the topsoil layer, we found that the floor of the causeway had collapsed, with the weakened foundations tearing apart, causing some components of the structure such as pillars, a Naga balustrade, a Naga's body, a Naga's head, and many fragments falling into the moat and some buried in the ground due to age and natural factors," said Soth, who led the excavation work.

He added that when the excavation is completed, a restoration project on the causeway will be launched under the LMC Special Fund.

The fund, initiated by China in March 2016, aimed at supporting small- and medium-sized cooperation projects put forward by the six LMC countries.

Built in the middle of the 12th century, the layout and style of Beng Mealea temple are very similar to those of the Angkor Wat temple, the ANA said.

Made of blue sandstone, Beng Mealea temple is one of the key temples in the 401-square-km Angkor Archaeological Park in northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province.

The Angkor Archaeological Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 1992, is the most popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asian nation.

The park attracted 472,258 international visitors in the first five months of 2024, a year-on-year increase of 37 percent, said a report from the state-owned Angkor Enterprise.

It made $22.2 million in revenue from ticket sales during the January-May period this year, also up 38 percent year-on-year, the report added.