Thursday, January 29, 2009
Bruno Bruguier's presentation of his latest work, the first in a series of six archaeological guidebooks on Cambodia that he hopes to publish, was well attended by the Fracophiles in the capital at the French Cultural Center earlier tonight. The 266-page book titled Phnom Penh and the Southern Provinces highlights the main ancient temple sites in the bottom half of the country to an in-depth level like never before, using recent photos and maps, alongside archive photos and drawings from the EFEO vaults as Bruno happens to work for the organization that has done so much to rescue and restore Cambodia's Angkorean heritage. Co-authored with his wife Juliette Lacroix, it's the first in a series of six they have written, though funding has been a tough nut to crack and with the help of Reyum, 3,000 copies have been produced. In front of such luminaries as Ang Choulean and Helen Jarvis, Bruno explained his approach to the research and some of his findings for half an hour before fielding questions from the audience. The first book concentrates on well-known temple sites such as Phnom Chisor, Tonle Bati, Phnom Bayang, Phnom Da, Ba Phnom and the cave temples of Kampot, but also introduces the little known sites at Prasat Chea Hao and Prasat Bassac in Svay Rieng. Funding permitting, he is looking to release the following titles in the future: Tonle Sap Basin and Sambor Prei Kuk; Banteay Chhmar and the Western Provinces; Kompong Cham and the Mekong Basin; Koh Ker & Preah Vihear - the Northern Provinces; Around Angkor.