A group of technical officials from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and local authorities have inspected 126 ancient hills found recently in Kratie province to protect and preserve them.
The director of the ministry’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory Voeun Vuthy said on Sunday that the inspections and border verifications of the 126 sites began on February 1.
He said officials recorded the size and boundaries for each location for preservation work.
“We are working with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to collect and insert data about the ancient hills to produce land titles. This makes it easy to manage and preserve the sites,” Vuthy said.
After the Ministry of Land Management, Urban planning and Construction issues the titles, Vuthy said it will transfer the management and preservation of the ancient hills and stations to the Kratie provincial authorities and relevant institutions.
The director-general of the Cultural Technique Department at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Hab Touch, said similar work is taking place in other provinces nationwide.
“The ancient sites are in almost every place in Cambodia and we already completed the work in some provinces where there are temples and important and well-known ancient stations,” Touch said.
He said when the land titles for those sites are issued by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, people who are living in the areas will be prohibited from constructing buildings, burying bodies, or clearing or exploring the areas.
Even though the authorities warn of legal action, some ancient temples and sites are explored by people to look for artefacts illegally, he noted.
On Friday last week, the Preah Vihear Provincial Court charged five men, including a commune police chief, with looting ancient artefacts at Prasat Khna Pagoda in Choam Ksan district.