Colonial Architecture Project

Photos of European colonial architecture around the world

by Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art, Queen's University at Kingston, Canada

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Siem Reap, Angkor Wat Archaeological Park

IMG_4159.JPG Siem Reap, Angkor Wat Archaeological ParkThumbnailsSiem Reap, Angkor Wat Archaeological Park

9th-15th century by the Khmer Empire. Colonial architecture is not just about buildings built in the colonial era but about cultural appropriation of older structures "discovered" by Europeans (in this case Henri Mahout, 1860). Under the French Indochinese regime Angkor Wat was made an archaeological park by the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) in 1907 as an example of French patrimony, its sculptures were moved to French museums beginning in 1870s and six copies (including two life-sized ones) were exhibited in French Expositions in Paris and Marseille (even before France took this territory from the Siamese). The park was "cleansed" of a contemporary Buddhist monastery and restored to its "pristine" original state like a French formal garden. This site also inspired Khmer-style architecture built in Cambodia by colonial officials. UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed 1992.

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