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India Helps Finance Restoration of Pagoda Murals

SIEM REAP: The Minister of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia and the Ambassador of the Republic of India presided over the inauguration ceremony of the conservation and restoration of the mural paintings at Reach Bo pagoda in Siem Reap on 03 November 2023.

Reach Bo Pagoda was built in the 18th century. Both the architecture and decoration of the pagoda are in the Khmer style and show the work, creativity, and richness of Khmer cultural heritage. On the walls of Reach Bo pagoda's vihara, there are about 157 ancient paintings depicting the life of the Buddha, the story of Ramayana (Reamker) in addition to depicting hell and daily life. The paintings are in a state of decay, which requires immediate repair and preservation.

The Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, said at the inauguration ceremony that she, as well as the people of Cambodia, are very proud to participate in conservation and restoration of the murals.

She added that the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of India signed a financing agreement to preserve the ancient paintings on November 12, 2022. She said that the commitment to protecting these meaningful and valuable paintings remains strong.

Indian Ambassador Dr. Devyani KhoBragade, said that the support for the conservation and restoration of the mural paintings at Reach Bo pagoda is to restore and strengthen cultural ties and promote mutual understanding, respect and gratitude for the history and culture of both countries.

Since 2005, the experts of the APSARA National Authority have been actively involved in the conservation and maintenance of the buildings of Reach Bo pagoda, and from 2014-2020, Reach Bo pagoda was inscribed on the National Heritage List of Cambodia.

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