Sophia University and the Authority for the protection of the site and the Management of the Region of Angkor (APSARA National Authority) of the Kingdom of Cambodia, with support from the Japanese government’s ODA (grant aid equivalent to 94.7 million yen for cultural affairs), began the second phase of restoration work on the Western Causeway of Angkor Wat in 2016, and after eight years of joint work, the restoration work will be completed in November this year.
To commemorate the completion of the restoration work, a “Completion Ceremony” and a ” Opening Ceremony” will be held on November 4, sponsored by the Apsara Organization and the Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development at the site of Angkor Wat.
The ceremony will be attended by His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who will bestow the Royal Order of Sahametrei of Merit on Sophia University Chancellor Sari Augustine.
Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century, is the symbol of the Angkor Dynasty and the current Kingdom of Cambodia. The Western Causeway, which is the entrance and exit for visitors crossing the moat encircling Angkor Wat to get to the central spire, has collapsed several times in the past and has been repaired repeatedly.
Professor Yoshiaki Ishizawa, Director of the Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development, has played a central role in promoting the construction. In 1996, at the same time as the start of the first phase of restoration work on the Western Causeway, its office was established in Siem Reap, and has been working to restore the ruins since then. While staying close to the construction site, Sophia University has been making efforts to train conservators for the past 33 years.
With the completion of the restoration work, visitors can once again cross the Western Causeway to the main temple of Angkor Wat, one of the largest stone buildings in Southeast Asia, which conveys the prosperity of the Angkor Dynasty 800 years ago.
Prior to the ceremony, Sophia University and the Apsara Organization signed a new agreement to continue the maintenance of the Western Causeway of Angkor Wat and to continue the technical training of Cambodian Conservators.