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Conservation and Restoration of the Royal Plaza, the Bayon and Angkor Wat

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Geographical focus
Asia and the Pacific

Following four preliminary survey missions fielded by the Japanese Government in response to the request of the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor (JSA) was set up in 1994 under the leadership of Professor NAKAZAWA from Waseda University, Tokyo, to carry out a practical project within the framework of the UNESCO/Japan Trust Fund.

As the first phase of a multi-year project (1995 - 1999) implemented by JSA, with administrative assistance from the Japan International Co-operation Centre (JICE), the current project focuses on the Bayon temple and the Royal Plaza. During the second phase, planned for 1999 - 2005, the JSA team will continue its activities at Prasat Suor Prat. It will also complete the Masterplan for the preservation of Bayon and take charge of the restoration of the Northern Library of Angkor Wat. 

The Bayon

The Bayon temple (late 12th century) in the centre of the last city of Angkor Thom is one of the most important monuments within the Angkor Park, in historical and architectural terms. It is unfortunately in a most critical state. Under the project, it is aimed to restore the Northern Library which is in danger of collapsing , and to draw up a master plan for preservation of the whole Bayon complex. 

Restoration of the Northern Library was completed in August 1999. The dismantling of its foundations in 1996 revealed that their irregular subsidence was due to the soil content which had been washed away over a long period of time. The JSA has prodded the sand layer to harden the soil with a traditional prodding tool called an " Elephant's Foot " and added some slaked lime to achieve a higher density level. The original stones have been used as before and the broken ones re-used after being repaired with an adhesive agent.

The data collected and the scientific analysis of causes of deterioration conducted during the dismantling and reconstruction process have been made public and will serve as a basis for drawing up a master plan.
A ceremony was organized under the royal patronage of Her Majesty Queen Norodom Monineath and marks the completion of the restoration activities of the Northern Library. 

In order to develop the best methods of preservation and restoration respecting the original structures of the monuments as far as possible, and to develop a Masterplan for the safeguarding of Bayon in the best conditions, the JSA began organizing annual symposiums on the Bayon in 1996. During these scientific meetings with the Cambodian authorities and international experts, many technical and ethical issues involving the safeguarding of the Bayon and Angkor monuments are discussed.

The fifth symposium took place in Siem Reap on 11 and 12 December 2000.

The Royal Plaza "Prasat Suor Prat - Towers of the Rope Dancers and its terrace"

Various researches have been conducted with a view to restoring this site as part of a second phase.
The architectural details of each tower were examined. A thorough study of the state of conservation of the towers, which threaten to collapse, was carried out. This showed that the repeated contraction and expansion of the ground caused by fluctuation in the water table has been proved to be one of the reasons for the inclination of the structure. A restoration project is being prepared.
In the northern part of Prasat Suor Prat, an excavation survey was conducted to uncover the original structures and clarify the process of alterations to be made in the later terrace renovation (rebuilding and extensions) and other structures.

Total budget/cost:
Phase I (1994-1999): US $9,600,000
Phase II (1995-2005): US $10,996,479
Host agency: APSARA

World Heritage Properties 1
States parties 1
Geographical focus
Asia and the Pacific
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