6th Technical Working group meeting for the Safeguarding of the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom

Siem Reap, 11 October 2021 – Within the framework of the Japanese Funds-in-Trust project Safeguarding of Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom, Phase V, the 6th Technical Working Group Meeting was held in a hybrid manner (in Jasa office and online) on the 11th of October 2021 following a site visit of the Bayon Temple on the 8th of October. The meeting was attended by 25 participants from APSARA National Authority, Waseda University, Japanese Embassy to Cambodia and UNESCO and aimed to follow the results of the last Technical Working Group Meeting in June 2021 and to share updates on the ongoing conservation and restoration activities carried-out at the Bayon temple.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, UNESCO Representative to Cambodia, commended APSARA and Japanese experts for their leadership and commitment to maintaining and enhancing the values of the Bayon temple and for their recent achievements, while underlining the importance of the transfer of knowledge between Waseda University led by Emeritus Professor, Dr. Takeshi Nakagawa and APSARA teams.

The first presentation by Ms. Meng Sovanlylin (APSARA architect) focused on the maintenance of the drainage system and two proposals to intervene in the Northwest corner of the inner gallery and Southwest part of courtyard culvert G5. Mr. Sim Than, Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation of Monuments of APSARA also shared an update on the risk-map, and more specifically on the carried-out works at 14 high-risk locations identified by the APSARA National Authority. Finally, Mr. Mitsumasa Ishizuka and Prof. Takeshi Nakagawa presented their activities and recent progress towards the landscape improvement of the Northeast corner pavilion of the outer gallery and stabilization of the central tower of 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). For the last twenty-seven years (1994-2021), UNESCO, together with the Japanese Team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (JSA) led by Emeritus Professor, Dr. Takeshi Nakagawa and APSARA National Authority, has coordinated research and conservation work at the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom, involving Cambodian experts and workers. Generously funded by the Government of Japan, the project was divided into five (5) phases: Phase I (November 1994-September 1999), Phase II (September 1999-April 2005), Phase III (May 2005: August 2011), Phase IV (November 2011-June 2018) and Phase V (June 2018-present).

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.