Site Conservation discussed during the Hybrid Technical Meeting of the ICC for Angkor and Sambor Prei Kuk sites
Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the 35th Technical Session of the ICC-Angkor initially scheduled in June was postponed to September, however, in order to continue the urgent conservations on the site, the Secretariat of the ICC-Angkor organized on 28 and 29 June 2021 a technical meeting between the adhoc group of Experts of the ICC-Angkor, the APSARA and Sambor Prei Kuk National Authorities on the Conservation and Sustainable Development projects at the World Heritage sites of Angkor and Sambor Prei Kuk.
Prior to this meeting, the Secretariat, together with the APSARA National authority and the International teams present in Angkor conducted a site visit at the Angkor World Heritage site from 24 to 26 June 2021. The aim of the visit was to seek advice from the international teams and to receive a technical report to be shared with the adhoc Experts of the ICC for evaluation of the ongoing projects at Angkor.
Followed by the site visit, an online meeting was organized in which 18 projects on Conservation and Sustainable Development were presented by the APSARA and Sambor Prei Kuk National Authorities, to receive urgent advice from the Ad Hoc Experts. Some of the important discussion included conservation of the Naga Balustrade at Banteay Samrè Temple; consolidation of the northwest corner of the inner gallery at the Bayon Temple; conservation project of the 1st West Gopura of Banteay Srei; conservation and restoration project of the brick Tower of Pre Rup; restoration of a Buddha statue at Bakan gallery of Angkor Vat Temple; conservation projects at Sambor Prei Kuk sites and etc.
The two-day technical meeting served as a platform for the adhoc Experts of the ICC-Angkor and the concerned teams of the APSARA and Sambor Prei Kuk National Authorities to have a technical and scientific debate on providing guidance and recommendations.
The Director General of the APSARA National Authority, His Excellency Dr. HANG Peou on behalf of the Minister of Culture, expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the adhoc group of Experts of the ICC-Angkor for their support and commitment to providing technical guidance to the projects in Angkor and Sambor Prei Kuk during this difficile time. He also expressed his thanks and appreciation to UNESCO Phnom Penh Office and the Secretariat of the ICC-Angkor for organizing this important technical meeting despite major constraints and pressures during the pandemic.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the members of the adhoc Experts both in Conservation and Sustainable Development have not been able to travel to Cambodia to conduce site visit since 2020 and have joined remotely the hybrid meetings of the ICC-Angkor. Coordinated by the Secretariat of the ICC-Angkor (UNESCO Phnom Penh Office and the APSARA National Authority), all the work including discoveries, restoration and Sustainable Development projects have been monitored despite the COVID-19 situation to ensure the safeguarding and development of Angkor World Heritage Site.