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Senior Monk Cites Bricklayer’s Fault in Destroying Stupa in Wat Botum Vatey

PHNOM PENH: The Chief of the Secretariat of the Mohanikaya Monk Order and Chief of Phnom Penh Municipal Monks, Venerable Khim Sorn, has ordered a repairman to fix the tiles on a stupa in Wat Botum Vatey, after a bricklayer caused the top of the stupa, including the rare Pka Chan, to break off.

The Venerable Khim Sorn informed EAC News on Monday, 2 January, that last week, the pagoda management noticed a water puddle and bad smell developing on the ground around the stupa in Wat Botum Vatey, hence, assigned a bricklayer to conduct repairs and beautify the pagoda.

"The pagoda does not have a policy, [and did not give an] order, to dismantle any part of the stupa in Wat Botum Vatey,” he said. “About a week ago, I called people who have stupas around the pagoda to come and repair the floor and structures around the stupas to beautify the pagoda. A bricklayer came and saw the bottom of a stupa getting old, so they demolished part of it, causing the top to break and fall off. The pagoda [management] did not ask to dismantle anything because we did not touch [any of the structures] and did not have anything to do with that area also.”

According to Venarable Khim Sorn, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts came on Monday to conducted an inspection and ordered the pagoda to suspend renovations so that the Ministry could research further on repairing and preserving the original stupa.

“The Ministry of Cultures asked us to [suspend renovations] and drew a plan to find a sculpture and bricks that match the year [the stupa was built] in order to repair it, because it is slightly damaged,” he added.

The stupa in Wat Botum Vatey was built by Duke Anukkha Theanin Ben and Duke Rajanupheap Duch in the year 1900.

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