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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No smoking in, or on, temples

No smoking in, or on, temples

Prom Karona, director of the Apsara Authority’s Public Order and Co-operation Department, shows an ash tray depicting Angkor Wat and other souvenirs that were cracked down on yesterday.

Siem Reap
APSARA authorities yesterday confirmed a crackdown on certain Angkor Wat souvenirs being sold inside the archaeological complex that they say are denigrating the World Heritage site, as well as selling practices that they say are irritating tourists.

Prom Karona, director of the Apsara Authority’s Public Order and Co-operation Department, told the Post yesterday that vendors would no longer be able to sell Angkor Wat-inscribed ashtrays or drinking glasses that contained a sketching of the temple at the bottom of the glass.

It was debasing to associate something so revered and sacred with something so cheap, Prom Karona said.

He also announced a crackdown on the practice of vendors superimposing photographs of tourists on an Angkor Wat background that they then  printed on a souvenir and sold.

Such practices were annoying for visitors, Prom Karona said, and hurt tourism.

“Some tourists show their anger with photographers that try to take their photo and put it on a souvenir, then ask for money,” he said.

On Sunday, officials confiscated several of the ashtrays and drinking glasses, as well as computers, printers and other materials used to produce the photo souvenirs. A contract was signed with vendors preventing them hawking such items, he added.

Apsara Authority deputy director Bun Narith said these selling practices and the prohibited souvenirs were damaging the Khmer identity and pride and must stop immediately.



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