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Chinese president inspects restoration work for Takeo in Angkor complex

04-02-2012 09:28 BJT

"The Angkor Wat is a gem of human civilization and a valuable treasure of the Cambodian people," visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao Sunday told Chinese technicians working on a restoration project in the Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia.

Inspecting the China-assisted restoration project on the ruined Takeo temple in the famous Angkor complex in northwest Cambodia, Hu said the governments of both countries "have great faith in you when you were given the formidable job of restoring the Takeo temple."

"I hope you will overcome all the difficulties and accomplish the task with solid work," the president said.

The restoration project of the Takeo temple, which was built by King Jayavarman V and Suryavarman I from the late 10th century to the early 11th century, is the second phase of the Chinese government assistance in restoring Angkor activities.

The project kicked off in November 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2018.

At the working site, Hu talked with Chinese and Cambodian archaeologists, applauding their progress in restoring and conserving the Takeo temple, one of the most popular temples in the Angkor area, in harsh environments.

"I hope you will help revive the ancient civilization created by the Cambodian people by making persistent efforts and strengthening communication and coordination with your Cambodian colleagues," Hu said.

The Chinese president also asked the Chinese technicians about the difficulties in the restoration work.

Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands with a staff member during his inspection
at the site of a restoration project assisted by the Chinese government on the ruined Takeo
temple in the complex of the Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 1,

"The biggest challenge here is the lack of professionals," one Chinese technician told Hu, explaining that the job requires skilled workers who are familia with Cambodia's history, art and architecture, in addition to the proficiency in foreign languages.

"The restoration work is just a project used to train such professionals and allow people to display their talent," Hu said.

Leaving the Takeo temple, Hu visited several other archaeological sites in Angkor, inquiring in detail about the current progress in the restoration work.

"China's assistance in the restoration work of Cambodia's archaeological sites has created a better condition for the study of the Southeast Asian history in China and for the exchange of research on this subject," Hu told an accompanying scholar.

The first phase of the Chinese government assistance for conserving and restoring Angkor activities started with the project of Chausay Tevada temple in 1997, and the project was completed in December 2008.

The temples of Angkor, which were built between the seventh and the 13th centuries, had been seriously damaged due to heavy rains, looting and the lack of protection.

The Angkor complex consists of 200 monuments, which spread over an area of 400 square kilometers. Angkor Wat is the most famous and the largest temple.

President Hu, who is on a three-day state visit to Cambodia, met Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, Senate President Chea Sim, National Assembly President Heng Samrin, and Prime Minister Hun Sen Saturday.

Hu and Cambodian leaders discussed further development of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, and exchanged views on major regional issues.

The two countries also signed a host of cooperation documents, covering infrastructure, human resources, economy and tourism.

During their meeting Saturday, the Chinese president and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed to expand all-around bilateral cooperation and double the two-way trade between the two countries to 5 billion U.S. dollars by the year of 2017.

Hu will conclude his Cambodia visit and leave for home Monday.

Editor:Shi Jierui |Source: Xinhua

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