Restored Buddha statues on display in Cambodian museum

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A restored sandstone Buddha foot statue and six ancient wooden Buddha statues are on display at the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum in Cambodia's northwestern Siem Reap province, the Apsara National Authority (ANA) said in a news release on Friday.

The centuries-old Buddha statues were taken by conservationists from the Angkor Wat's Preah Poan gallery and restored by the Angkor Conservation's experts, the news release said.

Pen Chamrong, acting director of the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum, said the exhibition starting in May was conducted on the advice of Phoeurng Sackona, the Cambodian minister of culture and fine arts, after those artifacts had been restored.

"This is the first time the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum has received statues from the Angkor Conservation to exhibit at the museum," Chamrong said.

Kun Phally, technical staff member and a guide at the museum, said that the six wooden statues were created between the 14th and 18th centuries, resembling the Bayon style.

"Through the photographs of old documents from 1906, these statues can be seen mixed with other statues, including the Buddha foot statue at the Angkor Wat's Preah Poan gallery," he said.

Siem Reap province is home to the Angkor Archeological Park, the Southeast Asian country's most popular tourist destination.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Angkor Archeological Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992, attracted up to 2.2 million international tourists in 2019, earning a gross revenue of 99 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales, showed official data. 

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