„A Vision without a Task is but a Dream, a Task without a Vision is a Drudgery, a Vision with a Task is the Hope of the World.”
The Royal Angkor Foundation (RAF) was established following the Letter of Intent signed by then Prince of Cambodia, H.M. Norodom Sihanouk and President of Hungary H.E. Árpád Göncz on 7th January, 1992.
Members of the Board of Trustees are ambassadors, former ministers, heritage and education experts. During two decades of operation the RAF was among the founders of the International Coordinating Committee for Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (IC C, 1993) and the Southeast Asian Center at the Eötvös Lorand University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary (SEAC, 2001).
The first GIS of Angkor was developed first by the RAF then jointly with UNESCO, as part of the Zoning and Environmental Management Plan (ZEMP, 1993). The Foundation carried out joint research together with the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the World Monuments Fund (WMF, 1995-1996) to collect and analyse remote sensing data on Angkor (JPL, 1995-1998). Results were presented at the University of Princeton (1995) and at the annual congress of the American Association of Advanced Science (Boston, 2001).
Several major heritage conservation projects were supported by the MFA Germany (Preah Ko Project, 1993-1996), and, the EXIM Bank of Hungary (Koh Ker Project, 2008-2010). Education, in particular, curriculum development, has always been a main concern for the RAF in Cambodia with support from the MFA Hungary and the CIDA (Samdech Euv High School [SEHS], 2006-2008), and in Hungary (Central European University [CEU, 2001], Károly Gáspár Reform Church University, [KGRE, 1998-2001], ELTE University, 2001-2010). European (GLEN, Weltwärts) and Khmer (KADO, KKO) volunteer organizations are continuous partners of RAF.
The main objective of the RAF is to promote a better understanding between geographically distant cultures and civilizations of Hungary and Cambodia, Eastern-Central Europe and Indochina, Europe and Southeast Asia. Several projects of actual on-site restoration, paleo-hydrology, GIS database on zoning and environmental management of the historic area of Angkor, as well as a huge database provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena triggered thinking about consolidating and offering for global use all available information. After establishing a website generating global interest towards on-going research the idea of a focal point or “Virtual Centre of Oriental Studies” with library, research lab and much more is offered.
Royal Angkor Foundation
H-1061 Budapest Hegedű utca 9.