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Man About Town


CENTRE OF ATTENTION

THE New Year is set to launch in a big way for Siem Reap’s Centre for Khmer Studies, with the inauguration on January 10, as previously reported in this column, of the centre’s new library.

This will be followed in the evening by the annual board dinner which, according to a quaintly worded release, will be held at Angkor Village Hotel at “six forty-five o’clock.”

The centre’s board dinners are always momentous occasions, and there’s speculation that in the run up to the board of directors’ gathering, an announcement will be made about the official appointment of the centre’s new director.

Founding director Dr Philippe Peycam exited rather rapidly earlier this year, and the position has been vacant ever since, with chief operating officer Dr Michael Sullivan filling in as acting director.

The smart money in town is tipping that Sullivan will be given the job – either way a press release is apparently in the offing soon.
Meanwhile, amidst fervent preparations, Sullivan checked into the Royal Angkor International Hospital for an operation on his arm on Monday following a moto mishap at Preah Vihear.

EPIGRAPHERS GABFEST
IN town this week were about 40 high-profile international and Cambodian academics, mostly epigraphers, who gathered at Siem Reap’s EFEO Centre on the weekend for a conference titled, “New Approaches to Old Texts: Cambodian Inscriptions in the Digital Age.”
The conference objective was to gather a wide range of collaborative partners and specialists on Cambodian inscriptions and databases, to present works in progress, to discuss experiences, and to explore possibilities and perspectives for future research activities.
Also in town was Jenny Spancake, an internationally recognised independent scholar of Southeast Asian art and textiles. From December 10-13, she led a group organised by the Thai Textile Society to study traditional textiles. The itinerary included a visit to the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles founded by Kikuo Morimoto in 1996, winner of the Rolex Prize for his efforts.

BIG FEE FOR TEMPLE
Hotel managers wanting to host festive dinners at Angkor Wat were in for a shock this season when enquiring with the Apsara Authority about the cost and availability of the famed temple complex as a nighttime venue. The fee for a sanctioned evening event at Angkor Wat is apparently US$5,000.

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