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

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget