Cambodia awards honorable medals to Chinese experts for contribution to Angkor restoration

Xinhua, December 17, 2022

Cambodia on Friday awarded the government's honorable medal decorations to two Chinese experts in recognition of their contribution to restoring ruined temples at the famed Angkor Archaeological Park.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An presented the"Knight Class" medals to Jin Zhaoyu and Yuan Mengxi at the end of a two-day meeting of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor).

Long Kosal, deputy director-general of the APSARA National Authority, which is the government agency responsible for managing, safeguarding and preserving the Angkor, said China is one of key contributors to safeguarding, preserving, and developing the ancient site.

He said the contribution of the Chinese experts to the conservation and restoration in the Angkor is very historical and substantial, saying that the experts are very professional, effective, and outstanding.

"They have been able to prove to be the most effective team for the restoration," he told Xinhua."Their outstanding performance has been very welcomed by not only the APSARA National Authority, but also by the ICC-Angkor, and the UNESCO, as well as international experts."

"They all have a great appreciation for the work done by the Chinese team," Kosal said.

Located in northwest Cambodia, the Angkor Archaeological Park, inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list in 1992, is the most popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asian nation.

Covering an area of 401-square kilometers, the Angkor contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire from the ninth to the 15th century, and it consists of scores of key temples such as the Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Chau Say Tevoda and Ta Keo, among others.

Kosal said China has helped restore ruined temples there since 1997, restoring the Chau Say Tevoda temple and the Ta Keo temple successfully.

He said the restoration work on the Chau Say Tevoda was completed in 2008 and on the Ta Keo, which started in late 2010, was concluded in 2018.

"And since 2019, the Chinese experts have begun working on the 11-year restoration project of the Phimeanakas temple located inside the walled enclosure of the Royal Palace of the Angkor Thom," he said.

Built in the middle of the 10th century, the Phimeanakas temple was considered a place of worship in the Royal Palace, which covered an area of 581 meters long and 242 meters wide.

"China's support has not only contributed to ensuring the sustainable development of our cultural heritage, but also helped train Cambodian experts on restoration and preservation work," Kosal said.