27TS.9 23PS


9. Phnom Bakheng:

After a meaningful exchange with the WMF team and representatives of the APSARA National Authority, the ad hoc group of experts confirms the appropriateness and feasibility of the principle of reusing ancient stones for restoration of the small shrine towers and to this end makes the following recommendations:

9.1. Bolster the partnership between the WMF and the APSARA National Authority, the latter outsourcing specialized staff that could be entrusted with all or part of the necessary task of sorting the ancient on-site materials for their possible reuse in restoring the monument.

9.2. Select from this stock of available ancient material only parallelepipedic (cuboid, rectangular) blocks of undetermined origin with no carving or moulding and/or of which the original location cannot be identified.

9.3. With regard to the restoration of the small shrine towers, select small sized stones from the stock so that they can be better fitted to the small scale of these structures.

9.4. When using such materials for selective restoration work on these structures, pay close attention in the patterns to the original course heights, ornamental features and reliefs of those small towers while minimising as much as possible any re-cutting of the recycled ancient blocks used to that end. This will make it possible to display a maximum amount of ancient stone-cut surfaces. Identify by inconspicuous marking the different partially re-cut old stones to distinguish them from the original stones on these small towers.

9.5. Beyond the work currently underway to restore the small sandstone shrine towers, the ad hoc group of experts encourages WMF to partner with the APSARA team specializing in the restoration of brick structures, having in mind interventions that will be required in the years to come to safeguard and conserve the different brick towers surrounding the central pyramid, some of which are presently in a particularly worrisome condition.