Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Job well done

Job well done

Job well done

Congratulations to Robert Turnbull on his excellent story about the National Theatre.

The interesting aerial photograph shows the clear-cut lines of the theatre standing

before the so-called Olympic village designed by Vann Molyvann to house athletes

as part of the National Sports Complex in 1964. The so-called white building was

designed for municipal staff by the architect Lu Ban Hap, who also built such works

as Chenla Theatre and the Cambodiana Hotel.

As is witnessed by Prince Sihanouk's inaugural speech, the theatre was inaugurated

on 12 November 1968, though construction probably took several years and might have

commenced as early as 1964. De Gaulle came to Phnom Penh in November 1966, not 1964.

Today, it is vital for the performing arts to have a theatre that is at least as

good of a design, if not better, than the Theatre National Preah Suramarit. It is

a tragedy that it was so severely damaged in the fire in 1994, but the reality is

that renovation work of such a scale is likely to cost more than new construction.

Why doesn't the Ministry of Culture organize an international competition for the

renovation or reconstruction of the theatre and the Bassac area? If well organized,

with reasonable prizes for the best projects, this could highlight the plight of

the theatre on an international level and attract funding - unless this public land

has already been sold like so much of Cambodia's state property. Competitions have

been successfully used in many countries as a way of finding creative solutions for

difficult architectural problems.

Helen Grant Ross, Architect - Phnom Penh

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a