The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has pledged $4 million towards restoring the Preah Pithu Temple inside the Angkor Wat World Heritage Site.
The agreement was signed by Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara Authority and Baek Sook Hee, head of the Korean International Cooperation Agency on Friday at KOICA’s office in Phnom Penh.
The three-year restoration project will begin in 2015, Narith said at the signing ceremony.
“Preah Pithu Temple has been left in a ruined-state for many years. The government has called for development partners to help fund to restore this temple and now the Korean government through KOICA has agreed to fund this project,” he said.
An assessment to determine who best to spend the $4 million is to be completed before work begins, Baek Sook Hee, head of the KOICA, said on Friday.
“KOICA will start to study the general situation of the temple to find the possibility and capacity to spend the funding effectively in conservation of the temple [and] at the same time increase economic growth in the area,” she said.
“I hope the restoration of the temple will make Preah Pithu another tourist attraction as other heritage temples, Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple,” she added.
Preah Pithu, according to the Ministry of Tourism, was built in the first half of the 12th century.
“One more temple means visitors will have one more place to visit and that encourages them to stay longer,” Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents said.