Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pact extends protection of Khmer artifacts

Pact extends protection of Khmer artifacts

Pact extends protection of Khmer artifacts

1-front-page.jpg
1-front-page.jpg

HENG CHIVOAN

US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli and Chuch Phoeurn, secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, sign a new MoU Monday.

IN a ceremony at Phnom Penh's National Museum, the United States and Cambodian governments renewed Monday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect Cambodian artifacts and prevent their import into the US.

US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli also signed over a US$45,000 grant to help the National Museum rebuild its library and preserve its collection of rare books, which includes items dating back to the beginning of the last century.

The new agreement expands the scope of the original 2003 MoU to include artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Angkorian era, which experts say are increasingly the target of looting. It specifically restricts the import into the US of ancient Cambodian stone, metal and ceramic artifacts unless an export permit is issued by Cambodia.

The original MoU and cooperation between the two countries had helped abate the flow of Khmer artifacts into the US and led to the return of a "very precious item ... the head of a Shiva," said Chuch Phoeurn, secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, who presided over the ceremony. He added that the donation would provide for much-needed renovations to the museum library, which has weathered considerably since first opening its doors to the public in 1920.

Mussomeli said that while Cambodia was a "young country", it stemmed from "an ancient civilisation that was one of the greatest civilisations ever. We're happy to be able to help Cambodia preserve its past".

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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