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Swati Chemburkar on Heritage, history and heterotopia at Angkor Wat

28 June 2021

Heritage, history and heterotopia at Angkor Wat

Review of:

The second volume of Michael Falser, Angkor Wat: A Transcultural History of Heritage, Berlin/Boston Walter de Gruyter, 2020, Two Volumes, 1150 pp, approx.1500 photos/maps/illustration/sketches/notes, epilogues, bibliography, index, $198.99, ISBN 978-3-11-033572-9/ e-ISBN (PDF) 978-3-11-033584-2

Swati Chemburkar (Jnanapravaha, Mumbai) 25/SC1

Abstract: Falsers’ voluminous, richly illustrated and meticulously researched book deals with the colonial and postcolonial history of the twelfth century Khmer monument, Angkor Wat. Covering the 150 years (1860 to 2010) history of the temple, spanning Europe and Asia, it sets out to show how the monument and its reputation were made, unmade and re-made in Europe as well as in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as culture, science and politics became entwined. In Falser’s words, ‘This book project investigates the temple’s material traces and architectural forms as well as the literary and visual representations of the structure, with a view to analysing global processes of transfer and translation as well as the recent proliferation of hybrid forms of art, architecture and cultural heritage.’

Keywords: Angkor, Angkor Park, Angkor Wat, anastylosis, Apsara dance, heritage, hydraulic city, Khmer Rouge, UNESCO

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