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Monks walk along a path in Preah Vihear temple in 2013 near the Thai-Cambodian border in the north of the Kingdom.
Monks walk along a path in Preah Vihear temple in 2013 near the Thai-Cambodian border in the north of the Kingdom. Heng Chivoan

China to offer help in restoring Preah Vihear

Archaeologists and representatives from several governments met in Siem Reap for a meeting on the future upkeep of the contentious Preah Vihear temple yesterday.

Public affairs officer Jay Raman attended the meeting of the International Coordinating Committee for Preah Vihear – a nine-country body founded under UNESCO auspices in 2014 and co-chaired by India and China – on behalf of the US, a co-founder of the body.

“It’s about archaeology but it’s also about issues of tourism management, community development, hydrology and conservation work at the site,” Raman said of the meeting.

During the meeting, it was announced that China would be leading the restoration of three gates at the temple, according to Dr Du Yue, the Chinese co-chair representative.

Preah Vihear was the site of multiple deadly skirmishes between Thailand and Cambodia from 2008 to 2011. Both countries have long claimed sovereignty over the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a sandstone temple complex located atop a 500-metre cliff in Preah Vihear province, officially under Cambodian control.

However, tensions there have cooled in recent years, and an international court has reaffirmed Cambodia’s claim to the temple.

Participants in the meeting were scheduled to attend the soft opening today of a new museum at Preah Vihear, the Samdech Techo Eco-Global Museum, according to Raman.

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