U.S. Government Awards $450,000 to the World Monuments Fund for Conservation of Phnom Bakheng Temple (Phase 4)

Released on July 31, 2015

The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh is pleased to announce that the Cultural Heritage Center for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ACA) of the U.S. Department of State has awarded $450,000 to the World Monuments Fund for conservation of the 10th‐century temple of Phnom Bakheng (Phase 4).

Cambodia is one of the seven countries – including Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka – that received support in FY 2015 for the preservation of ancient and historic sites through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) Large Grants Program.

Phnom Bakheng is Angkor’s oldest temple and one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures.  Since 2008, the Phnom Bakheng conservation project has focused on the structural stabilization and waterproofing of the east half of the central temple, while incorporating site management and training activities. Phase 4 of the project will result in the complete restoration of the east half of the central temple according to a restoration design that was fine-tuned in earlier phases of the project.  The intervention will reinstate the temple’s original structure and water management system by using both traditional and modern materials.  The project aims to substantially advance the vision of the 2007 Phnom Bakheng Conservation Master Plan, following the recommendations and consultations with the APSARA National Authority and UNESCO.

World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to saving the world’s most treasured places. For 50 years, working in more than 90 countries, its highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe.

The AFCP was established to help preserve significant cultural heritage sites.  In addition to Phnom Bakheng, the U.S. Government has also provided grants to help preserve other significant cultural heritage sites in Cambodia, including Prasat Han Chey in Kampong Cham province.  The total U.S. assistance for Cultural Preservation in Cambodia is $3.5 million, with $2.8 million of this total funded through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.