Field survey and renewal of the memorandum of understanding regarding the Angkor Complex

Survey of species of organisms on stone surfaces and environmental conditions
Signing of the memorandum of understanding

 In December 2011, the Institute conducted a field survey of the Angkor Complex. The memorandum of understanding between the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Nara Institute) and the Authority for Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA National Authority) was also renewed.
 Efforts at the Angkor Complex seek to clarify environmental conditions suited to preserving stone monuments. Biodeterioration of stone is a common problem in the area, and different species affect stone surfaces differently. However, few organizations are studying the relationship between the condition of stone and the environment and species of microorganisms, and this includes taxonomic studies. The Institute has been studying the relationship between environmental conditions and species of moss, lichen, and algae that grow on stone to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate their effect on stone surfaces. The current survey included specialists in the taxonomic study of lichen from Japan and South Korea, and specialists in plant ecology and biodeterioration of cultural property from Italy. The survey was conducted at sites with different environmental conditions such as the Ta Nei Temple which has been previously surveyed, and several other temples like Ta Keo, Ta Phrom and Bayon. Researchers are now analyzing the information obtained from the field survey. Institute researchers have been monitoring the surface conditions of stone samples taken from a nearby quarry and left at Ta Nei and they have been following up on past attempts at conservation efforts.
 Following the field survey, the Institute renewed a memorandum of understanding with the APSARA National Authority on joint research at the Angkor Complex. Previously, both the Tokyo and Nara Institutes each signed an MOU with the APSARA National Authority, but the current MOU was signed by all three organizations so that the Tokyo and Nara Institutes will be able to cooperate more closely with each other in the same area. The signing ceremony was held at the Headquarters of the APSARA National Authority in Siem Reap and was attended by Mr. KAMEI Nobuo (the Director General of the Tokyo Institute), Mr. INOUE Kazuto (Deputy Director General of the Nara Institute), and H.E. Bun Narith (President of the APSARA National Authority). The Institute will study restoration preparations at the West Prasat Top, where repair work is planned.

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