Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - $10 million spent for PVihear heritage site

$10 million spent for PVihear heritage site

$10 million spent for PVihear heritage site

CAMBODIA spent nearly US$10 million on an emergency budget to get Preah Vihear temple listed this year as a Unesco World Heritage site, a government official told the Post on Monday.

Phay Siphan, secretary of state for the Council of Ministers, said the money paid for administrative and restoration expenses and not infrastructure development at the 11th-century temple.

"This is a normal expense for the Cambodian government," he said. "We used the money for technical work and travelling expenses for our delegates involved in the evaluation of the temple," he said by telephone.

The World Heritage Committee officially added Preah Vihear, which sits on an escarpment along the Thai-Cambodian border, to its list of World Heritage sites on July 7.

Preservation work

Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the special $10 million budget addition on July 23, officials said.

Hang Soth, director general of the Preah Vihear National Authority, said additional expenses were not limited to the listing of the temple but also covered preservation work at the temple complex, a large portion of which is in ruins.

"I think it was a big expense, but it was necessary to help prevent damage at the temple," he said.

Yim Sovann, a Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker, said he approved the additional funding. But he added that the government has a responsibility not to be wasteful in its spending. "I think it was good if the money was spent properly on the temple," he told the Post on Monday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the