Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cultural relics crucial for ‘national identity’



Cultural relics crucial for ‘national identity’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A buddha statue is made from copper at Tuol Khsach pagoda in Kampong Chhnang province. Sam Rith

Cultural relics crucial for ‘national identity’

The General Department of Cultural Technique at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts on Sunday expressed concerns that parts of Khmer history risk being forgotten if ancient temples, equipment and appliances dissolve without being repaired.

Director-general Hab Touch told The Post that ancient equipment made from copper is part of the cultural heritage of Khmer history.

If the antiques are destroyed, he said the next generation will be unable to explore their cultural heritage.

Touch added that the preservation of cultural heritage from ancestors is useful in reflecting on the nation and its ancestors.

“Those are very important, a past that we keep to make the present richer. But if we get rid of that past, it will be difficult because it is one of the foundations of development.

“Development does not start from new innovation; it is based on its identity, its foundations, its culture, its society and its civilisation. Otherwise, we won’t know anything and we’ll lose our identity,” he said.

He stressed that the destruction of old antiques leads to the loss of knowledge.

“Commonly, antique things always embody identity and knowledge, including design techniques.

“It is observed that the foundations of development may have come from the techniques in building temples or other old achievements in the pagodas that were left behind for hundreds of years.

“Therefore, ancestor legacy shouldn’t be destroyed in order to get a new one. It leaves development without a solid foundation,” Touch said.

He called on everyone to take care of the heritage legacy of the previous generations. He said it is the basis for them to understand what belongs to the ancestors.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Sangha Council – the Kingdom’s top monastic body – issued a letter calling for an end to the desecration of archaeological artefacts and the metal fragments in them.

It noted the custom of mixing parts of or complete artefacts made of bronze, silver and gold with new metals and moulding them into 'Buddha pratima' or other such idols in pagodas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained