Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Guides want more guards

Guides want more guards

Workers repair a Buddha statue earlier this week after it was damaged by a tourist at Siem Reap’s ancient Bayon temple
Workers repair a Buddha statue earlier this week after it was damaged by a tourist at Siem Reap’s ancient Bayon temple. PHOTO SUPPLED

Guides want more guards

Damage to a Buddha statue at a Siem Reap province temple and several other instances of destruction and loss of historic property led the Cambodia Tourist Guide Association to file letters requesting heightened security at the ruins in Siem Reap.

The letters to APSARA Authority and heritage police were sent three days after a New Zealand national allegedly broke the statue at Bayon temple last week. They also reference lost monkey statues at Banteay Srey temple and statue decapitation at Ta Prohm temple, said Khiev Thy, the association’s director.

“Recently, there have been cases of statues being lost [and broken] at temples in tourist areas of Siem Reap,” Thy said. “No suspects have been caught; it affects our cultural heritage.”

The recently broken statue was a 26-year-old replica of one that was destroyed during decades of civil unrest.

In addition to the broken Buddha statue at Bayon temple, a South Korean travelling in a tourist group knocked over a replica statue there while posing for a picture in August.

A statement released by the APSARA Authority after the suspected vandalism last week says that they are only responsible for security between 5:30am and 5:30pm, but the woman suspected of breaking the statue was at the temple after it closed.

Despite anger over tourist behaviour, the statue is nearly repaired, Apsara Authority spokesman Im Sokrith said.

“The reparation of the Buddha statue is nearly finished and ready to be put in its original place at which people at the temple can pray,” Sokrith said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding