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An archaeologist said the restoration of the east gate of Ta Prohm temple began in early 2022 and that the restoration work was struggling due to the complex construction structure and stones being decayed and lost.
PHNOM PENH-- Cambodia has started to restore the east gate of Ta Prohm temple in the famed Angkor Archaeological Park in northwestern Siem Reap province, the Apsara National Authority (ANA) said on Monday.
The ANA is the government agency responsible for managing, safeguarding and preserving the park.
The restoration work of the east gate of Ta Prohm temple has been undertaken by ANA's experts in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India, the news release said, adding that the gate, built during the late 12th century, has been severely damaged by age and natural factors.
Net Simon, an archaeologist in charge of the east gate restoration site, said the project began in early 2022 and that the restoration work was struggling due to the complex construction structure and stones being decayed and lost.
"The east gate has been damaged the worst among the four gates of Ta Prohm temple, with the upper part completely collapsed," she said.
"Due to the severe damage to this gate, the restoration team needs to maintain and restore it as soon as possible, and the first task is to study the plan of the gate, find the fallen stones and determine their proper shapes before cleaning and reassembling them," she added.
Ta Prohm is among key temples in the 401-square km Angkor Archaeological Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992.
Angkor park is the most popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asian nation.
The number of international tourists to the park had gradually recovered in the first quarter of 2022 thanks to Cambodia's full reopening of its borders to vaccinated travelers without quarantine since last November after most of the country's population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The park received 19,840 foreign tourists during the January-March period this year, up 342 percent from 4,482 over the same period last year, according to a government report.
Prior to the pandemic, it attracted up to 2.2 million international visitors in 2019, earning 99 million U.S. dollars in revenue from ticket sales.