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The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has transferred administration of three protected websites within the Angkor Archaeological Park to Cambodia’s Authority for the Safety and Administration of Angkor (APSARA), efficient January 31.
APSARA now oversees conservation efforts and long-term tasks previously managed by WMF, lots of that are devoted to the preservation of the traditional heritage websites.
“This transition is a historic moment for Angkor,” Bénédicte de Montlaur, president and chief govt of WMF, stated in a press release. “At the beginning of this project in 1989, international intervention was necessary to help redevelop the conservation skills of local technicians in order to carry out necessary work. Over the years, reliance on international expertise has declined significantly across WMF projects at Angkor, and we are delighted to see Apsara reclaim full responsibility for day-to-day maintenance and future conservation work at these three sites.”
Angkor, situated in Cambodia’s northern province of Siem Reap, is house to the Ta Som and Preah Khan Temples, the Churning of the Ocean of Milk Gallery, in addition to lush forests, relationship to the ninth and fifteenth centuries. UNESCO has deemed it one of the vital vital archaeological websites in Southeast Asia, and it was inscribed as a world heritage web site in 1992.
Nonetheless, efforts to protect the valuable relics have been imperiled by the Cambodian Civil Battle of the Seventies, when many heritage employees have been killed within the preventing or compelled to flee abroad. Throughout the Khmer Rouge regime, antiquities looting skyrocketed at Angkor, with scores of its treasures trafficked in another country.
Lately, the Cambodian authorities has launched a decided marketing campaign to reclaim its looted cultural objects from museums. Final yr, the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York returned 14 sculptures to Cambodia that have been related to the disgraced artwork seller Douglas Latchford.
APSARA was established in 1995 and has since introduced vital enhancements to the care and preservation of the area; in 2004, it was faraway from the listing of endangered heritage websites.
“Our impact has gone beyond physical conservation work conducted over 35 years,” De Montlaur stated throughout a ceremony at Preah Khan Temple on January 26, as quoted by the Artwork Newspaper. “Our capacity-building work has provided skills, income and stability to the local team, which is now led by a majoritarian Cambodian leadership team. We also have developed tourism management strategies to enrich the visitor experience and prevent the harms of overtourism to the sites. WMF’s work will continue at the Archaeological Park with the restoration of Phnom Bakheng and the creation of new education programmes in cooperation with the Cambodian authorities.”
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