Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona calls for the involvement of all Cambodians in preserving the nation’s cultural heritage.
During the 6th anniversary of the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list observed on July 8, she emphasised that preserving such sites requires more than just governmental or local authority effort – it necessitates unity and adherence to international standards.
The minister pointed out that improper construction, deforestation and encroachment on conservation sites can lead to irreversible losses.
She also highlighted the importance of community residents living in protected areas, stating that they should be safeguarded and can benefit from their area’s World Heritage listing through job creation.
She encouraged people to study and understand the significance of protecting the country’s historical sites, asserting that once lost, these invaluable pieces of heritage cannot be restored.
Chhort Bunthang, director of the Department of Culture, Education and Tourism at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, echoed the minister’s sentiment.
He affirmed that being on the UNESCO World Heritage list is not simply about UNESCO’s assistance, but primarily about Cambodians’ role in preservation.
Bunthang added that the preservation of both tangible and intangible heritage items requires the collective efforts of the people, artists and government, all working together in studying and maintaining these listed heritages for future generations.