The Suzanne Visit, Three: Angkor Wat Vandalism

Everyone knows Angkor Wat. The iconic mega-temple-complex is visited by millions each year. It’s a magnificent sight, a magnificent sight. But it’s quite overdone. I decided that instead of going there this round and taking the same pictures as last time, I would focus on a theme. One of the first things you think about in Cambodia is the effect (positive or negative) of tourism on Cambodian culture and society. Taking that a step further, I decided to look at vandalism and the defacement of the walls of Angkor. The wear and tear of the temples is quite easily accomplished because much of the structure was built using sandstone and similar soft stones. So, if you want to, you could take a penny, fingernail, or pen and make a scratch in a wall that is thousands of years old.

Why would anyone want to do this? That’s for social psychologist to answer, but I can assure you it’s been done and is continued to be done. How can I assure you? Just check out the 200+ pictures below and you’ll be able to judge the “humanity” within the tourism at Angkor Wat. You might also consider some of the pictures that don’t exactly look like vandalism. There are some images that look like they are professional. There is some script that could have been inscribed into the stones via a monk. But how do you verify? And who grants permission to these “living and dying buildings” (my poetic voice coming out now). Also interesting is the vandalism that’s been made more visible by obvious prevention measures. Some scratches forcibly removed by way of chipping the stone have caused immense destruction and remind me of graffiti in the USA that’s been painted over to look even uglier than the original imagery and language.

In January I might be able to go back. I may decide to or I may decide to stay away. If I do go back, I may take another look at the vandalism and see if it’s changed at all. Oh, and I found it fitting that “I Heart Greg” was scratched into one of the walls. I hope that whoever is out there thinking of me is proud.

P1090703

P1090594

More after the break.

P1090593

P1090595

P1090597

P1090599

P1090600

P1090601

P1090602

P1090603

P1090604

P1090607

P1090608

P1090609

P1090611

P1090612

P1090613

P1090614

P1090615

P1090616

P1090617

P1090618

P1090620

P1090622

P1090627

P1090628

P1090629

P1090631

P1090632

P1090633

P1090635

P1090637

P1090638

P1090640

P1090648

P1090651

P1090652

P1090653

P1090654

P1090657

P1090658

P1090659

P1090660

P1090661

P1090662

P1090663

P1090666

P1090667

P1090668

P1090669

P1090670

P1090671

P1090672

P1090673

P1090674

P1090675

P1090676

P1090677

P1090678

P1090681

P1090682

P1090683

P1090684

P1090685

P1090686

P1090687

P1090688

P1090689

P1090690

P1090691

P1090693

P1090694

P1090695

P1090696

P1090697

P1090698

P1090700

P1090701

P1090702

P1090704

P1090706

P1090707

P1090708

P1090709

P1090710

P1090711

P1090712

P1090713

P1090714

P1090715

P1090716

P1090717

P1090718

P1090719

P1090720

P1090721

P1090722

P1090723

P1090725

P1090726

P1090727

P1090728

P1090729

P1090730

P1090731

P1090732

P1090733

P1090734

P1090736

P1090737

P1090738

P1090739

P1090740

P1090741

P1090742

P1090744

P1090747

P1090749

P1090750

P1090751

P1090752

P1090753

P1090754

P1090755

P1090756

P1090757

P1090758

P1090759

P1090761

P1090762

P1090764

P1090769

P1090770

P1090773

P1090774

P1090776

P1090796

P1090800

P1090801

P1090802

P1090803

P1090804

P1090805

P1090806

P1090807

P1090808

P1090809

P1090811

P1090812

P1090813

P1090814

P1090815

P1090816

P1090817

P1090818

P1090819

P1090821

P1090824

P1090825

P1090826

P1090827

P1090828

P1090831

P1090832

P1090833

P1090834

P1090835

P1090837

P1090838

P1090839

P1090840

P1090844

P1090845

P1090856

P1090860

P1090862

P1090863

P1090864

P1090865

P1090866

P1090867

P1090868

P1090873

P1090874

P1090876

P1090877

P1090878

P1090879

P1090880

P1090881

P1090882

P1090884

P1090885

P1090888

P1090889

P1090890

P1090891

P1090892

P1090893

P1090896

P1090859

P1090861

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s