- Posted August 31, 2013 by
phnom penh, Cambodia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Cambodia’s spectacular ruins
In the Angkor complex, restoration to the temples disguises the sad truth of what has happened to magnificent works of art. Travel to more remote sites and the crimes are more apparent.
In remote areas vandals work unchecked and the more remote, the more sophisticated equipment can be used to extract artifacts. Sadly less sophisticated methods just damage the heritage and will never be recovered.
The first seven photos are at the Neak Buos Temple east of Preah Vihear Temple in northern Cambodia.
Vandals have etched the faces from a relief for no other apparent reason than vandalism. A lintel from the main prasat (tower) has been broken in half. Ornate craftsmanship has been destroyed on the remaining pieces. A crude hoe is left behind. Faces of Apsaras have been removed from the lintel. If the hoe and the other remnants are any indication, what made it to the black market was probably in bad condition. The final picture is the base of a statue. West of Neak Buos at the small site of Tai Yote, a similar base remains. Pic 8
Prasat Bakan that sits in the middle of jungle in central Cambodia has been raped of its treasures. Completely isolated and restricted access to this site has made it easy for looters to remove whole corners of the temple and remove large portions of artifacts.
Only proper funding for security and access to the temples where tourism and a watchful eye can prevail is the only hope for salvation to many of the remote sites of Cambodia.