Part of Bayon closes for restoration
The upper terrace of the Bayon temple at Angkor Archeological Park has closed for restoration. The ever increasing numbers of tourists are taking their toll on the fragile structures. Funding for the work is being provided by the Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor (JSA). During the restoration process studies will be conducted looking into the stability of the 54 towers and 216 smiling faces. The Bayon, which sits at the centre of Angkor Thom, was built during the late twelfth century by Jayavarman VII.
Long Kosal, a spokesman for Apsara Authority which manages the archeological park said that the closure would be temporary but couldn’t say exactly how long the restoration work would take. He does expect it to take several years to complete.
Tourists will still be able to able to visit the lower levels but it will put the kibosh on thousands of much sought after selfies. To compensate park authorities are now allowing access to Beng Mealea Temple to be included in the Angkor Archaeological Park Pass. Beng Mealea is an overgrown site, similar in state to Ta Prohm. It is about 40 km east of the main group of temples. Its history is not known but scholars believe it was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II early in the twelfth century. It features extensive carvings of scenes from Hindu mythology including the Churning of the Sea of Milk.
Image: Five of the 216 faces of the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom