Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - North Korea-funded museum set to open in Siem Reap

North Korea-funded museum set to open in Siem Reap

The construction site of the North Korean Grand Panorama museum in 2013 near Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.
The construction site of the North Korean Grand Panorama museum in 2013 near Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Thik Kaliyann

North Korea-funded museum set to open in Siem Reap

An Angkor-themed museum funded and operated by North Korea, but located in Siem Reap, is finally set to open after years of delays.

The vast Grand Panorama museum, set on a 4-hectare site just 3 kilometres from the temple complex, is due to open on December 4, according to Long Kosal, spokesman for the Apsara Authority, which manages the temples.

“Because of the current holiday, invitations to the opening ceremony have not yet been sent out, but they will be distributed soon,” he said.

Kosal added that the North Korean company that built the museum would run it, together with the government, for 10 years, during which time they would get back their investment plus profit. Management would then transfer to Apsara.

The $10 million development includes a 120-metre mosaic, other paintings depicting the temples and rulers of the Khmer empire, and a 3D cinema.

Human Rights Watch spokesman Phil Robertson was highly critical of the project.

“By associating Angkor Wat with an international human rights pariah government like North Korea, Cambodia is tarnishing its historical legacy,” he said. “Tourists should stay away from this museum.”

But Apsara spokesman Kosal said there was nothing unusual about North Korea’s involvement given the long-established relationship between the two countries starting under former King Norodom Sihanouk.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • US told to refrain from interfering in Sokha case

    Senior Cambodian officials said on Thursday that the US can monitor Kem Sokha’s trial as it wishes but would not be allowed to interfere in court procedures. The point was made in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Wednesday

  • Europe expected to consider EBA efforts, impact

    The government said it expects the European Commission to consider its efforts to comply with the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) regulations and the impact on one million workers should access to the agreement be suspended in February. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara