Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM bolsters ‘heritage building’ conservation

PM bolsters ‘heritage building’ conservation

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An old French building which is currently the UNESCO office near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

PM bolsters ‘heritage building’ conservation

Prime Minister Hun Sen has issued a circular to prevent the demolition and altering of heritage buildings, the changing or damaging of religious structures, public and private buildings, villages and ancient houses.

In the circular dated October 12 and seen by The Post on October 14, Hun Sen said the government had noted that modernisation had caused the loss of and damage to heritage buildings located on heritage sites in the capital and provinces. He said such buildings are invaluable.

The national heritage and wealth, he added, have been placed at risk and threatened by development, and a balance between conservation and development is needed.

“Therefore, in order for conservation work on the city’s heritage sites and religious buildings, public and private buildings, villages and ancient houses to be in accordance with the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, the government prohibits the alteration of exterior features or damaging the beauty of urban heritage sites,” Hun Sen said.

The prime minister recommended that the cultural,historical, ancient and heritage buildings currently under demolition be stopped so that they will be preserved based on strategies and policies to push for the sustainable preservation and development of heritage sites.

“The heritage buildings that will be restored, redesigned or demolished must be reviewed and a decision made by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and relevant authorities first,” he emphasised.

Hun Sen advised all ministries and relevant institutions across the country to implement the circular effectively and with a high sense of responsibility.

Banteay Meanchey provincial culture department director Yong Taing Koy said on October 14 that he was happy when the head of government issued such the circular because in the past heritage buildings in communities had been demolished without the proper authorisation.

“I fully support the content of this circular, and I also ask for the implementation of this circular to effectively cover the capital and provinces, especially in Banteay Meanchey province. Old buildings are our national heritage. All relevant institutions have to respect and implement it,” he said.

Taing Koy added that the province had many old pagodas and temples. The Department of Culture and Fine Arts as well as other stakeholders had educated people and sent information to districts, communes and communities that have artifacts, ancient temples to preserve them.

However, he said some people had not cooperated with authorities and had covertly built near temples and demolished many ancient sites as well.

“We have cooperated with the authorities and police to prevent such incidents, and we continue to do this work on a regular basis. We convened a two-day meeting a week ago to find a solution for application forms for the construction of buildings in temple areas, and we also advised people to build houses in the Khmer style,” he added.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • Locally-trained commercial pilots to lift Cambodia’s aviation standard

    The Kingdom is boosting its civil aviation sector with the establishment of a flight school with a local airline to meet growth demands once air travel recovers At 22, First Officer Reachta Lim is the youngest commercial pilot in Cambodia. He flies with the national flag