Putting A 10th Century Dancing Shiva Together

Siem Reap: A 5 m tall stue of Shiva, which one stood in the Red Temple in Koh Ker circa the 10th century AD, is painstakingly being put back together from over 10,000 pieces.

The team undertaking the epic jigsaw project are from Angkor Conservation in collaboration with the National Authority for Preah Vihear, Apsara Authority, National Museum of Phnom Penh and The French Far East School.

Since 2012, the French Far East School cooperated with the National Preah Vihear Authority The Apsara Authority and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to undertake a joint search to collect the remains of the Shiva both under and above ground. Some pieces of brick were kept at the Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum, but it was difficult to repair.

The restoration also included five hands and two pieces from the National Museum of Phnom Penh, which the French took away in 1960.

So far, the Ministry of Culture’s deputy director of conservation and preservation, Mr. Chamroeun, said that the project has been running for over two months. As a result, a chest section and other parts have been fixed back together.

It is also sad that several pieces have been lost and the team is considering adding new replacements.

He added that there is no set deadline, because many pieces are very difficult to assemble. The project requires attention, patience, time, and love to achieve the end result.

The expert is determined that no matter what the difficulties are, he will do the work and fulfill the wishes and bring the 1000 year statue back to former glory. Swift

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