Three colonial-era buildings in Kampot have been earmarked for preservation by a committee including members of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, provincial authorities and France-based group the International Organization of the Francophonie.
The committee will spend almost US$300,000 on restoring the properties to their original grandeur, according to Kong Phalla, director of Kampot Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Art.
“We don’t plan on only preserving these three buildings, but also privately owned colonial properties,” he said. “We have instructed the owners not to dismantle them, but constructed in accordance with the original style.”
Some 500 colonial-era buildings are located in Kampot and are classified into two categories – public and privately owned properties, Kong Phalla added.
“Nowadays, people are starting to see the value of such properties and, for example, are renovating them into attractive guesthouses.”
This most significant building considered for renovation is the former provincial hall, Kampot governor Khoy Khunhuor told PostProperty.
Once the reparations are complete, the historical building will be used a museum, he said.
Khoy Khunhuor said, however, that difficulties could arise in conserving privately-owned properties.
“We cannot force owners of colonial houses to reconstruct them in accordance with the previous style…the properties are there possession.”
He added that this is second project in Kampot that the International Organization of the Francophonie have contributed towards, with the previous fund contributing towards the construction of a clean-water system.