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Angkor Wat

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Nicole Jimmelson
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« on: April 26, 2007, 03:50:09 pm »



The Temple viewed from inside the NW corner of the outer wall

Angkor Wat today
 
Since the 1990s Angkor Wat has seen a resumption of conservation efforts and a massive increase in tourism. The temple is part of the Angkor World Heritage Site, established in 1992, which has provided some funding and has encouraged the Cambodian government to protect the site.[41] The German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP) is working to protect the devatas and other bas-reliefs which decorate the temple from damage. The organisation's survey found that around 20% of the devatas were in very poor condition, mainly because of natural erosion and deterioration of the stone but in part also due to earlier restoration efforts.[42] Other work involves the repair of collapsed sections of the structure, and prevention of further collapse: the west facade of the upper level, for example, has been buttressed by scaffolding since 2002,[43] while a Japanese team completed restoration of the north library of the outer enclosure in 2005.[44]

Angkor Wat has become a major tourist destination: attendance figures for the temple are not published, but in 2004 the country received just over a million international arrivals,[45] of whom according to the Ministry of Tourism 57% planned to visit the temple.[46] The influx of tourists has so far caused relatively little damage, other than some graffiti; ropes and wooden steps have been introduced to protect the bas-reliefs and floors, respectively. Tourism has also provided some additional funds for maintenance—approximately 28% of ticket revenues across the whole Angkor site is spent on the temples—although most work is carried out by foreign government-sponsored teams rather than by the Cambodian authorities.[47]

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