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Man about town

OLD BAG STARS IN SIEM REAP
The news that a Louis Vuitton print advertisement starring Angelina Jolie in Siem Reap was to “premiere” in the Intentional Herald Tribune on Wednesday was bigger than Ben-Hur.

The “exclusive” news item about this fabulous ad event was run by the influential US fashion bible, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) on Monday and, subsequently, the web erupted with hundreds of sites gushing over the news.

One curious factor about the web reports of this astounding promotional appearance was the emphasis on the fact that the first photo released from the shoot shows Angelina with an old handbag, suspected of being about six years old.

As WWD reported: “She’s barefoot, wearing her own clothes, no make-up and toting her own elegantly weathered monogrammed Alto bag.”

The bag was given further prominence in the article when it was referred to as “a storied handbag” and discussed in depth by Pietro Beccari, Vuitton’s executive vice president, who unveiled the image “exclusively to WWD”.

The article said that: “Beccari showed off several paparazzi shots of Jolie toting the Alto carryall, which is believed to be at least six years old. The style is no longer in production, but ‘we are considering to re-edit it’, Beccari noted.”

HOT IN THE SADDLE
Gregory Anderson, the general manager of Le Méridien Angkor hotel, has stunned the local community with a dynamic performance on his 460-kilometre charity bike ride from Siem Reap to Bangkok.

He set off from the hotel on Sunday and on his first day in the saddle he rode at a blistering pace, at times though pouring rain. His average speed was 32 kilometres an hour, and he reached top speeds of up to 61 kilometres an hour. In six hours and 10 minutes he travelled 192.61km, and overnighted in the town of Mueang Sa Kaeo, Sa Kaeo province, Thailand.

The next day he pedalled just as furiously and eventually reached his destination, bustling Bangkok, in the evening.

His mission was to raise funds for the open-heart surgery of three-year-old Siem Reap girl Di Sreihi. She has a congenital heart condition called ventricular septal defect, and without surgery it is unlikely she’d survive.

Anderson’s aim is to raise the $3500 needed for hospital costs when a team of volunteer doctors from Singapore can perform the procedure.

BID TO HOST HERITAGE MEETING
A SIEM Reap bid to host the 2012 World Heritage Committee meeting during the 20th anniversary of Angkor Wat’s designation as a World Heritage site next year was officially launched at a UNESCO conference by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An last week.

During a speech to more than 300 delegates in attendance at the Twentieth Technical Session for the International Co-ordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Sites of Angkor, held at the Sokha Angkor Resort, Sok An spoke about Siem Reap’s suitability as a site for the meeting.

He said: “Cambodia has enough capacity to host the World Heritage meeting in 2012, including safety, good accommodation and a beautiful environment and surrounds. Siem Reap should be considered a possible site, as the meeting will take place in the year the Angkor site was first accorded World Heritage status.”

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