Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Call for heritage preservation

Call for heritage preservation

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tourists visit the Angkor Wat Temple. Heng Chivoan

Call for heritage preservation

Marking the 28th anniversary of Angkor Wat’s inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List, King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen have issued statements in recognition of the event that reaffirm Cambodia’s commitment to its continued preservation.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Angkor Wat had become one of the top tourist destinations in the world when measured both by critical acclaim from travel experts and in terms of the large number of visitors to the ancient temple complex.

Officially listed by UNESCO as Angkor Archaeological Park – commonly referred to as Angkor Wat – on December 14, 1992, the site includes the Temple of Angkor Wat and Bayon Temple along with scores of other temples, monuments and structures within a total area of 400sq km.

In a December 14 letter marking the 28th anniversary, the King said: “The people across the Kingdom would like to express the highest gratitude to the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk for crucially paving the way by protecting and promoting the great name of Angkor Wat.

“The late King Father preserved and developed the Angkor Resort as a precious inheritance for all future generations of Cambodians,” the letter said.

In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Hun Sen reminded all Cambodian people to take part in preserving Cambodia’s heritage.

He also expressed a deep gratitude to the Cambodian ancestors who had made sacrifices in the past to benefit the cause of the glorious Khmer civilisation and to the leaders of the country who had continually struggled to overcome all obstacles in order to protect the valuable cultural heritage of the nation, which had been recognised and celebrated across the globe.

“The Cambodian government is strongly committed to conserving this wonderful heritage. In recent times, Angkor Wat had become the number one tourist destination in the world. It has attracted millions of international tourists here to learn about the cultural wealth of Cambodia,” he said.

The Angkor Archaeological Park was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in Santa Fe in the US state of Texas on the initiative of the late King Father after he had appealed to UNESCO for assistance in preserving and protecting it.

In response to the appeal, an international conference was held from October 12-13, 1993, in Tokyo, Japan, organised by the Japanese government.

With the support of France and UNESCO, they began to lay out strategies and plans that would ensure the conservation of the site while also promoting it as a tourist attraction.

To achieve these goals, the International Coordinating Committee (ICC-Angkor) was set up in 1993. It consisted of 30 countries which provided aid and assistance to Cambodia’s Apsara National Authority (ANA), the government agency responsible for the management of the Angkor Archaeological Park.

This partnership was ultimately successful in their efforts at conservation, with Angkor Wat having been removed from the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 2004.

The ANA also released a video clip on its Facebook page to mark the 28th anniversary. The clip echoed Hun Sen’s sentiments, reminding all Cambodians to love their heritage and to take part in preserving it while expressing a deep gratitude to the Khmer ancestors for the glories of the Angkor civilisation.


  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • PM to open new Siem Reap int’l airport December 1

    Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese leaders would jointly participate in the official opening of the new Chinese-invested Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport on December 1. The airport symbolises a new page in the history of Cambodian aviation, which will be able to welcome long-distance flights to

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • Minimum wage set at $204, after Sep 28 vote

    The minimum wage for factory workers in the garment, footwear and travel goods industries for 2024 has been decided at $204 per month, with the government contributing $2. Following several negotiation sessions, the tripartite talks reached an agreement during a September 28 vote, with 46 of 51 votes supporting the $202 figure.