Restoration of murals at the Bakong Temple Pagoda


The Phnom Penh Post has a nice story about a Thai-Cambodian group working to restore 70-year-old murals at the Bakong temple pagoda in Siem Reap.

As governments and soldiers have been lobbing actual and rhetorical missiles at one another during the last few months, a small team of Thai and Khmer restorers has been quietly cooperating to bring back to life the 70-year-old paintings of the Bakong Temple pagoda.

The one-year project was finally completed early this month and was celebrated at a special ceremony held on the morning of Saturday May 28, attended by the team members and about 100 locals who habitually use the pagoda.

The Bakong Temple pagoda is actually quite interesting in that it is right next to to the 9th century Bakong temple in Rolous village.

Above: The Bakong Temple in Rolous village (taken in 2005)

Below: A view of the Bakong Temple Pagoda from the top of the Bakong Temple

I actually heard about this project after seeing a Facebook post and photos from my friend Somongkol who visited the Bakong Temple Pagoda and saw the restorations last year.  He was kind enough to let me share some of his fantastic photos of here.  Thanks Mongkol! 

*The photos of the restoration work  below were all taken by Somongkol Teng តេង សុមង្គល*

The project was run by an organization called Restaurateurs sans Frontières (RSF) and they hope to work on restoring the murals at the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh next.  This is great news as the murals at the Silver Pagoda are in bad shape.  They depict scenes from the Ramayana and were  painted in 1903-1904 (via). I took a these photos (below) of the murals when I visited a few years ago:

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5 responses to “Restoration of murals at the Bakong Temple Pagoda

  1. Bakong has always been, in my opinion, the most underrated of the temples. It’s so awesome…

  2. I agree. 🙂

  3. ល្អ-some! I just yoinked those photos for my Ramayana class, thanks!!

  4. First time visitor, but I’ll be back for sure! Some very interesting posts here of some fantastic locations you have gotten to visit and share. I visited this temple back in 2008 and shot the restoration work going on then for the donor who was paying for the work at that time; you can see a gallery of the images here: http://www.garrisonphoto.com/Client%20Photography/Location%20Photography/Holcim%20Cambodia/index.html
    I am really glad to see that they are continuing to restore some of the other wonderful panels within this amazing site!!!

  5. Thanks Joe- those are great photos! I’m hoping to go check out the completed murals this week or next!