Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plea to Russia for temple aid

Plea to Russia for temple aid

Plea to Russia for temple aid

The sprawling roots of a silk cotton tree cover part of the Ta Prom temple in Siem Reap province. Sections of the 12th- or early 13th-century structure are being restored.

Without an increase in international assistance,  the Kingdom’s stunning Angkorian-era temples would be at the mercy of nature and human neglect, Council of Ministers officials said yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Sok An last Wednesday encouraged a group of visiting Russian diplomats to contribute to the restoration of one of the temples in Siem Reap, Ek Tha, a spokesman from the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers, said yesterday.

In a meeting with Alexander Ignatov, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Cambodia, Sok An said the country had an estimated 1,000 temples, many of which were in great need of restoration and conservation.

In Siem Reap province alone, home of the famous Angkor Wat complex, there are about 90 temples.

“UNESCO listed Angkor as a World Heritage site in 1992. Since then, more than 60 temple restoration projects are under way or have been completed, with support from 16 countries,” Ek Tha said.

Donor countries who have completed or are conducting restoration work in Cambodia include China, France, India, Japan, Hungary, Switzerland, the US and Italy.

Last week, the Post repor-ted  the discovery of a Buddha statue by the Indian archaeological team conducting restoration at Ta Prom temple, in the Angkor complex.

“The reason why we call on Russia, not only China, but major countries that have been friendly with Cambodia, is because it creates a good economic and cultural relat-ionship and a good image for the countries,” Ek Tha said.

“We do not want the temples damaged by nature and war to disappear, because they are a striking attract-ion – but we just don’t have the financial and technical means to conduct all the restoration ourselves,” he said, adding that Cambodia’s restoration specialists had all been killed during the Khmer Rouge regime.

UNESCO culture program specialist Philippe Delanghe said bilateral restoration projects were making a significant contribution to human resources in the Kingdom.

“A lot has been achieved from Cambodia in that sense,” Delanghe said. “The capacity of the government has improved tremendously.”

The International Co-operation Committee, formed by the Japanese and French governments in 1993 to protect the Kingdom’s temples, is due to meet in December.

Representatives from the Apsara Authority were not available for comment.


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release