Part of Ancient Cambodian Temple Opened to the Public During Restoration

July 16, 2006

Source: National Post/CP

On July 16, 2006 the Canadian Press reported, "Under a sweltering sun, masons struggle to slip a 200-kilogram stone into place atop an ancient temple that for decades has looked more like a giant jigsaw puzzle than one of the Angkor era's finest monuments. It is an understatement to say restoring the 11th century Baphuon temple is taking time. An initial attempt to refurbish the monument, one of the oldest and largest temples at the famed Angkor complex, started in 1960, but work stopped a decade later as Cambodia slid into a long civil war, and during the Khmer Rouge regime all the reconstruction plans were destroyed. Work resumed 11 years ago and, now, for the first time, one section - known as the eastern pavilion - has opened to the public. A team of French archaeologists, funded by the French government, hopes to complete the $5.7-million US project in 2009... The temple, a three-tiered, pyramid-shaped monument, was built in 1060 during the reign of King Udayadityavarman II and is known for its rich narrative reliefs dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva."