The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts on Sunday completed restoring a stretch of the northwestern wall at Banteay Chhmar temple in Banteay Meanchey province’s Thmar Puok district after 10 months of work.
Kou Vith, acting director of ancient temple protection and construction department at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, yesterday said the walls were originally constructed in the 12th century and repairs began in March 2019.
Mr Vith said repairs to the northwestern wall concluded in December with a budget of $672,897.
He said the wall is 50 metres long and four metres tall, adding it was damaged during conflicts in the 1980s.
“The wall was damaged…during the war. Some stones were scattered. Now the wall resembles its original appearance,” he said.
He said now tourists can visit the newly-repaired wall, adding the money came from donors, including Mao Mali, wife of Ke Kim Yan, chairman of National Authority for Combatting Drugs.
Culture Minister Phoeurng Sackona during an inauguration ceremony for the wall on Sunday said many ancient temples, roads and ponds have been damaged and need restoration.
Ms Sackona said that now villagers in Thmar Puok district should be proud of ancient temples built by the ancestors.
“It is a pride of our people, especially people living in Banteay Meanchey province where our ancestors have left behind many things, and now the wall’s restoration was completed. From now on, local people must work together to take care of it,” she said.
Pok Nady, deputy Banteay Meanchey provincial governor, yesterday said Banteay Chhmar temple is a priceless heritage for the province.
“Tourists can come to visit and understand historical heritage. It is also aimed at increasing income for the villagers living there. Now some parts of the temple look original after repairs,” Ms Nady said.
“This temple contains many historical, cultural and traditional sources for next generations to understand and it is invaluable,” she said.