Wednesday, July 8, 2009

View from above

A bird's eye view of Banteay Chhmar
I said I would bring you some pictures from my recent trip to Banteay Chhmar, though this photo of the main temple complex is courtesy of Eddie and his microlite. You may recall that Eddie took me up in his 2-man 'flying moto' back in February for a whizz around the edges of the Angkor Park for an hour. However, he has flown his microlite all over Cambodia and as you can imagine, and see, has some amazing aerial photos from just about everywhere. This is Banteay Chhmar from the west, with its Mebon at the top of the picture and the houses of the village on the right hand side. Though you can see the moat surrounding the temple, the rest of the structures within are almost completely obscurred by the tree cover. The photo was taken in March of this year. Read about my microlite fun here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
Chhmar looks impressive from above, does the moat get full-loaded during the rainy season or parts are silted? One other question, if you don't mind, is the issue of the theft of sacred artpieces during the KR period being addressed by the ECCC? Guess these war-criminals could give clues leading to many carvings and statues that have disappeared since then... - Thanks for your great blog and hugs, from Sylvana Gutierrez

July 8, 2009 10:40 PM  
OpenID boran said...

nice view! thanks

July 9, 2009 10:33 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Good question regarding the moat. I think it has water all year round but only part of it is used by the locals for their personal use, hence why only 2 sections look clear, the rest is covered in green water plants I recall.
I am pretty sure the issue of artifacts will NOT be covered in the trials. I don't believe this will fall into the court's jurisdiction in any way.
If Ta Mok had been on trial then he was well known for collecting artifacts from temples, and maybe it could've been introduced. When he was captured, a bounty of carvings were recovered and sent to the Angkor Conservation depot in Siem Reap, which I saw on a visit there a few years ago. He was known for his interest in ancient Angkorean art pieces. Whether he sold them or simply kept them for his own amusement, I am not sure.

July 9, 2009 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
thanks for replying, I plan to visit Cambodia and Banteay Chhmar is already included in my itinerary, thanks to yr blogs.

July 9, 2009 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, in the South-American country I'm presently living in, there is quite a few Khmer artpieces, some belonging to museum collections, others to particulars. Last week, I saw a beatiful head of Buddha, Baphuon-style, adorning the hall of a residence in a plush neighbourhood of the capital. In used book stores, I frequently come accross old catalogues of Oriental art exhibitions held in the country, from the 30s on, featuring Khmer artpieces, mostly belonging to local collectors.
In my opinion, all these artifacts should eventually be returned to Cambodia, including the bulk of the trove, stolen by the French and kept in museums and private collections in France.
I think a sort of Society of Friends of Cambodia should be established, and its first endeavour wd be dressing a catalogue of all Khmer artpieces stolen from the Cambodian people and scattered all over the world.
I have pictures of many of the above-mentioned pieces plus references from catalogues and local publications, and would be pleased to collaborate in such an effort. "Wally"

July 9, 2009 11:53 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Wally,
thanks for your posting. very interesting. I hadn't even thought of Khmer art finding its way to South America, but why not.
There are groups already set up that touch on the points you raise.
Heritage Watch for example keep their eyes on this sort of thing. It might be a good idea for you to drop them a line with your suggestion.
Also there's a group called Friends of Khmer Culture, who too might be interested in your suggestion. See them at:
There is also a book published that listed 100 Missing Objects : Looting in Angkor in 1993.

July 10, 2009 10:50 AM  

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