5th Technical Working group meeting for the Japan-Funded project for the Safeguarding of the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom

 In the framework of the Safeguarding of the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom project (Phase V) within the framework of Japan Funds-in-Trust, a site visit of the Bayon Temple and a Technical Working Group meeting were organized on the 27th and 28th of June 2021, which brought together representatives from the APSARA National Authority, Waseda University, the Japanese Embassy to Cambodia and UNESCO. These gatherings were to address the ongoing conservation activities and challenges encountered on the site and to mutually agree on joint actions for the next coming months. The field visit and meeting particularly focused on the South wall of the outer gallery and Southwest corner of the third terrace of the temple, while all experts concerned shared the work progress on the carried-out conservation and restoration activities since the last Technical Working Group meeting in April 2021.

The current Phase V of the Safeguarding of Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom project aims to support the long-term conservation of the Bayon Temple in the Angkor World Heritage property, which focuses on the conservation of the East Façade of the Temple, the conservation of the outer and inner gallery bas-reliefs, the structural stability of the iconic Central Tower and risk mapping to identify the areas for an emergency support.

Masanori Nagaoka, Culture Programme Specialist (UNESCO) moderated the meeting and congratulated Excellency Mr. Kim Sothin, Deputy Director General of APSARA and his team members as well as Japanese experts on their successful intervention and achievements in particular at the Southwest corner of the 3rd Terrace of the Bayon, where the restoration and consolidation of the structure were completed over the past six months. Meng Lylin, APSARA architect, presented the results of the intervention which included the successful reinforcement of the wall and Naga balustrade along with an analysis of the inner structure.

Net Simon, APSARA archeologist, also presented the preliminary results of the latest excavation work operated in the Southwest part of the Bayon and Sim Than, Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation of Monuments of Angkor shared the latest updates on the risk map designed by APSARA and JASA, which identified areas for restoration.

The meeting allowed APSARA, Waseda University and UNESCO to agree on the joint actions to be taken over the next months for the safeguarding of the Bayon.

The Bayon Temple is one of the most significant monuments within the Angkor World Heritage complex and was constructed by the King-builder “Jayavarman VII” (1125-1218; reign: 1181-1218). Since 1994 through the financial assistance of the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust, research and conservation work has been undertaken at the Angkor World Heritage Site, in close partnership with the APSARA Authority.

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