29TS.1 24PS


1. Angkor Thom Royal Place and Phiméanakas Temple:

In the light of the general theoretical proposals outlined and the principle which we can obviously only agree with, the ad hoc group of experts:

a) Points out that the Phimeanakas, its surroundings and the various components of the ancient Angkor Thom Royal Palace have been part of previous archaeological and architectural research programs or restoration operations. The new program initiated at this time by the CACH (Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage) must therefore fit in with the previous body of knowledge and experience in an overarching approach to scientific knowledge and heritage conservation for this group of monuments. We note in this regard:

– The archaeological and architectural research done some years ago on the Royal Palace by the EFEO team under Prof. Jacques GAUCHER, more specifically on the Phimeanakas temple (including a detailed survey of the four façades of this temple-mountain).

– The earlier restoration work performed by the Indonesian team, including the two north and south gates of the Royal Palace enclosure. It will therefore be very important to collate all the older and newer documentation. It must be kept in mind, for instance, that old photographs are available from the late 19th century (Émile GSELL collection) showing the early tree growth on the pyramid, which is the cause of most of the structural pathologies seen now.

b) The ad hoc group of experts here supports the principle of interventions that give priority to using original techniques and materials. On the other hand, in some cases where using modern techniques appears acceptable, the principle of reversibility (although not mentioned in the Charter of Venice of 1964) cannot be called upon here to justify the use of conspicuous framework and false work that takes away from the aesthetic showcasing of the monument, as is unfortunately the case noted recently on the Takeo site.

c) Again requests, in compliance with the ICC’s-Angkor operating principles, that this project, involving both the Phiméanakas and other components of the Royal Palace, yet to be spelled out, be coordinated with other research programs on the site, but especially be reviewed regularly with the ad hoc group of experts and be submitted to it for formal advisement, prior to execution, as the project’s phases are progressively developed: diagnostic survey, project stage and, finally, the hands-on work.

d) Considers that this new cooperation program on the Angkor site should only be undertaken after the program currently being conducted by the CACH on Takeo temple is fully completed.