The Culture and Fine Arts Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Unesco to repair parts of the Bayon temple using aid from the Japanese government over a three-year period.
National Apsara Authority chairperson Phoeurng Sackona said yesterday after signing the MoU that the Japanese government is providing $1 million through Unesco to Cambodia to repair the temple’s central tower and surroundings.
“This three-year project is very important in our efforts to repair temples, especially the Bayon temple which is one of the most attractive temples and a castle of Khmer architecture,” she said, noting that the project will run until 2020.
Ms Sackona said that the ministry has a lot of projects for repairing other temples and will sign another MoU with the French government to repair the West Mebon temple in Siem Reap province.
She noted that the Japanese government is a good partner and has aided many projects to repair temples.
“The Japanese government provided aid to repair most of the temples at Angkor Wat,” Ms Sackona said. “We will continue our cooperation with both the Japanese government and Unesco.”
“On behalf of Cambodia, I want to also thank Unesco for always helping us,” she added.
Unesco’s representative to Cambodia Anne Lemaistre said that the signing of this MoU is the fifth phase of a commitment the international body has with the Apsara Authority and the Culture and Fine Arts Ministry.
“We started to work in collaboration with the Japanese team 25 years ago,” she said. “So, you can see that this is long-term cooperation.”
Ms Lemaistre noted that Unesco has already worked with the Aspara Authority on several temples.
The Bayon temple is a highly attractive Khmer temple in Angkor Park. Built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, it once stood at the centre of Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom.
Cambodia earned $61.4 million in revenue from the sale of tickets at Angkor Wat during the first half of 2018, a hike of nearly 18 percent compared to 2017.