Asia, the East has always meant something more to the Hungarians than a distant continent or an unknown culture. It meant the land of origin, the endless borderland, and the attractive cultural diversity. Our compatriots who wanted to explore the East, among them we can mention Sándor Körösi Csoma and Aurél Stein, became deservedly famous throughout the world.
In June 1992 the Royal Anchor Foundation was established in Budapest based upon the signed declaration of Árpád Göncz, former President of the Republic of Hungary and Prince Norodom Szinahuk, present ruler of Cambodia. The aim of the foundation was not only to introduce the hardly known culture of Anchor in Hungary but also to have both countries learnt about each other’s values, and to promote the mutual acceptance, reception of these values. In such way that we can foster the cultural, religious, scientific relations between the different parts of the geographically adjacent continent of Eurasia.
In cooperation with the Foundation Hungarian experts participated in several types of research projects, relating to the protection of historical buildings, archeology, history of art, geographic information system, on Anchor. One of the most prominent international projects was organized by the UNESCO in 1992-93 when Hungarian information specialists and hydrologists took also part in developing the Zoning and Environmental Plan of the historical site in Anchor. The project was implemented by involving well-known representatives of more than dozen scientific areas, and now it is used as case study for preparing the “handling plan” of world heritage sites.
Having summarized the scientific data collected during the above mentioned project researchers of the NASA and its Research Institute, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory assisted in taking radar photos about Anchor by a spacecraft in 1994. After 1996 a special research airplane was used for the same purpose. All these pictures along with the air photos taken by a French satellite and the English historical photos were included into the AGIS database (Geographic Information System of Anchor). This database is regularly updated by the Foundation for ten years now.
The activity of the Anchor Foundation is mostly focused on the protection of the historical buildings. It can be best characterized by the Preah Ko project (1994-1996) which was generously supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany. The Foundation got its mandate to restore the invaluable ornaments made of sandstone and stucco of the sanctuaries built at Hariharalaja which served as one of the royal residences to the kings of Anchor during the Golden Age. There were almost a hundred chmer workers and international experts participating in the project.
drawings and photographs shown at the present exhibition can only throw
light onto fragments of the enormous endeavor. Thanks to this endeavor
we could gain a unique experience, and it is in Hungary now.