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The site of Angkor was rediscovered by the West world through the accounts of Portuguese trader Diogo do Couto (dated 1558 to 1588) and the accounts of French botanist Henri Mouhot which were published in French in 1863 and in English in 1868. In 1863, Cambodia became a French Protectorate. The Ecole Française d´Extreme Orient (EFEO) was founded in 1898 to study the history, language, art and archeology of the Far East including Cambodia. The Angkor Conservation Center was established in Siem Reap to conduct archaeological study of the Angkor Civilization as well as to restore the various Khmer temples. Cambodia became an independent State on 9th November 1953. Initiated by the French archaeologists and architects, the conservation activities in Angkor site were abruptly ended in 1974 due to the outbreak of civil war and the establishment of the Khmer Rouge regime. After the Peace Agreements of Paris and following the first free general elections, an international campaign for conservation and development of Angkor started in 1993.
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