Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

In 2002, Swiss architects Rolf Grossenbacher and Ueli Salzmann, who had been commissioned by the SDC, began work in cooperation with the responsible Cambodian archaeologists and under the auspices of UNESCO. This restoration project also aimed to serve as a vehicle for the transfer of knowledge and know-how to the Cambodians so that they would be able to undertake similar work in conserving their national heritage themselves. The project cost around CHF 1.2 million. Over the past three and a half years, between two and four Swiss experts were involved in the work with between 40 and 60 Cambodian experts and workers. Students from several Swiss universities also profited from this unusual undertaking.

Erhaltungsmaßnahmen am Tempelbezirk
Banteay Srei in Kambodscha durch das SDC
Details Ornament
Fotos: Besch

The work involved mainly reinforcing the foundations of the temple, which had begun to sink because of the build-up of rainwater which is so plentiful in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and rebuilding the drainage system. It was also necessary to restore the paving and flooring, carry out various archaeological tasks and clear out vegetation which had grown over the site. Finally it was necessary to set up an infrastructure to control the flow of tourists to prevent access to the most fragile parts of the temple. With an average of 3000 people a day, Banteay Srei is the third most visited temple in the Angkor area.

A book devoted to the restoration work, »A New Lease of Life to Banteay Srei«, in English and Khmer, is available via info@sdc.admin.ch (031 322 31 24) or info@atelier-gs.ch (034 423 13 73)

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