Blog Post

New Garuda Restoration at Preah Khan

A new restoration project focused on Garuda #39 was started a few weeks ago in Preah Khan by the WMF team in Cambodia. The project is the successful result of a WMF Adopt a Garuda campaign held last year.

Garuda #39 is located on the east side of the temple on the outermost enclosure wall, just south of Garuda #38 which WMF repaired last year. These emblematic sculptures decorate Preah Khan in a unique way and symbolically serve as the guards for the people who lived and visited the temple. These adoptions not only help restore these magnificent sculptures; they also support the Cambodian staff—seven WMF skilled site workers who come from the neighboring villages within the Angkor area—who are working on restoring all of Preah Khan.

The funds from this Adopt a Garuda campaign have already allowed for a complete survey and graphic documentation of the statue and the adjacent laterite wall. Garuda #39 is partially covered by soil originated by termite activity, a very common pattern among Angkorean structures. A number of the original sandstone blocks that were a part of the sculpture are missing, but an excavation carried out in the past weeks has uncovered 10 original stone units. Next, the Garuda will be disassembled as a whole so that the wall can be stabilized. This is necessary because the wall is leaning dangerously to the back and could bring to further collapse.

WMF has focused much effort towards the restoration of the Preah Khan Garudas since 1996, with the hope to forward heritage preservation in Angkor and to guarantee sustainable living conditions for local skilled craftsmen. This summer the Moai Circle, WMF's young patrons group, launched their own Adopt a Garuda campaign. The goal is to raise $25,000 to restore Garuda #72 so that it can protect the temple once again! Get involved, donate, and share with friends! For more information visit #GiveGaruda