via The Diplomat 22 February 2021: A look at India’s diplomatic efforts (similar actions have been carried out by South Korea and China) in helping to restore archaeological monuments in Southeast Asia.
In Vietnam, the ASI began the processes of chemical conservation of the My Son temples after an agreement signed between Hanoi and New Delhi in 2014. While the agreement was settled under Modi’s watch, and work behind under his rule, earlier Indian governments prepared the groundwork.
In Myanmar, the ASI began the structural conservation of Buddhist pagodas in Bagan; they had been damaged in the 2016 earthquake. Work on five of the pagodas began in 2020, and India is set to restore 12 of the sacred buildings. This, again, is not a new field for Indian conservationists. The above-mentioned Ananda Temple has been restored under an agreement signed in 2010.
In Laos, the restoration of the Wat Phou Temple Complex began in 2009, after a memorandum signed in 2007, before Modi and the BJP government. I am unaware of any more recent conservation drives begun, or decided on, between New Delhi and Vientiane under the current Indian government.
With Cambodia, the current New Delhi government signed a memorandum “for restoration of some parts of Preah Vihear temple” in 2018. It should be noted that an earlier government led by the BJP – the Nationalist Democratic Alliance government of 1999-2004 – committed to conserve Cambodia’s Ta Prohm temple. That agreement was signed in 2003, and the ASI came to Cambodia in December 2004 (until the government in New Delhi changed). The temple was restored later: A 2012 article, for India’s Frontline documents what a challenge the project has been. Yet, the ASI’s most notable achievement in Cambodia country remains the structural conservation of Angkor Wat, the famous complex of Hindu temples – a task completed back in 1992.