ANA to restore Prohm Kel, build new bridge at Kbal Spean resort

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Apsara National Authority officials began repairs on Prohm Kel temple in Siem Reap in October. ANA

The Apsara National Authority (ANA) – a body tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park – will repair Prohm Kel temple and begin the construction of a new bridge at the Kbal Spean resort to preserve cultural heritage and attract tourists.

Sim Thorn, deputy director of the ANA’s Department of Conservation of Monuments in the Angkor Park and Preventive Archaeology, said the Prohm Kel temple served as a hospital during the reign of King Jayavarman VII.

The 12th century, 12m-high temple is located on the northwest side of Angkor Wat.

He said the ancient temple is now in a state of disrepair and officials have decided to repair it with the permissions of the ANA and the International Coordinating Committee for the safeguarding and development of the historic site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor).

“Prohm Kel temple is in a state of extreme disrepair. Collapsed stones have littered the temple area and the central tower has collapsed on one side. So, the team will restore it,” he said, adding that repairs will take one year and are divided into three stages.

“First, we will work on document preparation, excavation to study the structure of the temple, numbering and arranging the stones. Second, we will start to assemble the stones and strengthen the foundation. Finally, we will put the stones back in their original location,” he said.

In the meantime, ANA has also started the process of building a new bridge to replace the old one in the Kbal Spean resort area located in Banteay Srei district.

Puth Soth, a specialist from the Department of Conservation of Monuments Outside Angkor Park, said the old wooden bridge at Kbal Spean was damaged by weather and age.

He said the new bridge will be approximately 2.4m wide and 12m long, and made of concrete with plywood. Construction will take about three months from October 13 and is scheduled for completion in mid-December.