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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man About Town: 25 Dec 2009

Man About Town: 25 Dec 2009

Khmer silkworm weaving, the musical instrument chapei dong veng, and masked theatre, lakhon khol, will be submitted to UNESCO as recommendations for World Heritage intangible listing.

Secretary of the State of Ministry and Fine Arts Khim Sarith, speaking at the fifth International Conference on Southeast Asian Cultural Values at Angkor Century hotel on Thursday December 11, said he was confident that the designations will eventuate after an official proposal is submitted.

If cited, the three cultural entities will join the Royal Ballet and sbek thom, a form of shadow puppetry, which were registered as “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2003 and 2005, respectively.

Meanwhile, rumours that the Royal Ballet may relocate from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap have subsided – but anything is still possible. The lack of a decent theatrical venue in town is still an obstacle.

Siem Reap’s temple antiquities didn’t make it to the 2010 World Monuments Watch List, published biennially by The New York-based World Monuments Fund since 1996 to call attention to sites that are threatened.

In fact Siem Reap’s temples have been mostly absent from the Watch List since its inception in 1996.In that year, the Angkor Archaeological District was listed, as were the Preah Khan and Ta Som temples.

Siem Reap featured again a decade later in 2006, with the listing of Phnom Bakheng temple.

The only Cambodian temple outside of Siem Reap to appear on the list is the Banteay Chhmar temple of Jayavarman VII at Thma Puok, near the Thai border in Banteay Meanchey province. Banteay Chhmar has been listed three times – in 1998, 2000, and 2002.

It’s been a lonely Christmas in prison for Siem Reap’s former prominent hotelier Rudolf Knuchel, who was arrested late in August on suspicion of sexually abusing two boys.

This was the second time Knuchel has been charged with sexual offences involving minors. The first was back in October 2002, when several Siem Reap business people testified on his behalf, backing his claim that he had been set up. He beat that rap, but his recent second arrest rocked the town and there has been no public support for him.

Authorities from the Immigration Police confirmed that Knuchel is still in prison, that no trial date has been set, and that he wasn’t actually besieged ith visitors.



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