Apsara National Authority (ANA) experts are expected by year’s end to complete the reparation of 23 out of the 83 pillars of Angkor Wat temple’s Preah Poan Gallery, or 1,000 Buddhas Gallery, which have deteriorated due to age and natural decay, the ANA said on December 23.
Soy Sophearin, a technical officer at the Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology under the ANA, said the pillars had been eroded by heat and moisture, as well as acids and related compounds produced by bacteria and other microorganisms found in moss.
Reparations were split into two phases, with work on the first batch of 12 pillars starting in mid-May, and in mid-October for the second of 11, he said, indicating that neither phase had been completed as of mid-December. He did not mention the specific metrics used to group the pillars.
Prior to the undertaking, experts conducted salinity tests on the pillars, and used infrared thermography to map moisture distribution and ultrasonic tests to determine the extent of the decay, Sophearin added.