WMF announces completion of Angkor Wat bas-reliefs restoration

The World Monuments Fund announces the completion of the restoration project on the Churning of the Milk Sea bas-relief in Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat Churning of the Milk Sea

Angkor Wat Churning of the Milk Sea

WMF Celebrates the Completion of Work on Angkor Wat’s Famed Churning of the Sea of Milk Gallery
World Monuments Fund, 08 January 2013

Bonnie Burnham, president of World Monuments Fund (WMF), today announced that WMF has completed a major conservation project at the Churning of the Sea of Milk Gallery at Angkor Wat, one
of four ongoing WMF projects in the Angkor Archaeological Park being undertaken in partnership with the APSARA National Authority (Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap).

Ms. Burnham stated: “We have learned a great deal about the construction of the Angkor Wat galleries. The gallery stones were set in such a way as to create a passive, interior drainage system carved into the roofing stones that allows water many ways to escape. We added a removable, impermeable layer of lead as additional protection to secure the gallery from further damage and were able to reactivate the traditional Khmer drainage system. We also discovered that the roof was crowned by a row of finials with dancing figures standing on lotus platforms, and were able to recover enough of the original ornaments from the surrounding area to recreate the design. In a few months, these carvings will be put in place. At APSARA’s request, WMF will also create a wooden coffered ceiling for the gallery, based on research into traditional Khmer designs. This will give visitors a sense of the proportions of the interior space and, for the first time, will enable them to gain a full experience of the beauty of the Churning of the Sea of Milk Gallery.”

Read the full news release here.

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