On June 1, a handsome new building in traditional Khmer style was opened to house
the Buddhist Institute of Cambodia. Adjacent to the Hun Sen Park, the Institute will
serve as both a repository of sacred texts and a research center for Buddhist studies.
Founded in 1930, the Buddhist Institute succeeded in translating from Pali into Khmer
the entire 110-volume Triptaka. After a 20-year lapse, the Institute was reestablished
in 1993 with the support of the Japanese Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-Kai and
the Heinrich Boll Foundation of Germany.
In March 1995, the Cambodian government donated a hectare of land for a new building
site. Construction was begun in May 1996 at a cost of $492,532, donated by the Rissho
Designed by Ly Chin Torng, a Cambodian architect from France, the main building is
a graceful cream-colored octagonal structure, fronted by a triple-tiered entrance
roof and crowned by a spire. Here are housed administrative offices, computer, photography
and audio-visual rooms, the publishing house for Kampuchea Suricha magazine, and
a study center. Matching wings house a conference room and a library with 3,000 religious
volumes in Khmer and 2,000 in English and other languages.