Angkor - A UNESCO World Heritage Convention success story

The millennial temples of Angkor with their monumental architecture, infinitely fine bas-reliefs, enduring spiritual significance and complex irrigation system constitute one of the most impressive success stories of the World Heritage Convention.

Architectural maintenance and restoration work is on the agenda, and satisfactory techniques have yet to be identified to prevent damage to the countless friezes, reliefs and other ornaments that account for the delicate beauty of the edifices. They are eroded and discoloured by pollution, bats droppings, and vandals whose ranks include not only those who break off ornaments for profit, but thoughtless visitors who let their backpacks scrape the surfaces of walls.

Angkor - A UNESCO World Heritage Convention success story

Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings.