Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear’s ancient Koh Ker temple seeks World Heritage Status



Preah Vihear’s ancient Koh Ker temple seeks World Heritage Status

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A visitor takes picture in front of Koh Ker temple. The Cambodian government is preparing a proposal to register the 10th century temple complex as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Post Staff

Preah Vihear’s ancient Koh Ker temple seeks World Heritage Status

The Cambodian government is preparing a proposal to register the ancient Koh Ker temple in Preah Vihear province as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona made the announcement last week at a meeting in Siem Reap province, of the International Coordinating Committee for Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Preah Vihear.

The Koh Ker site constitutes “one of the marvels of Cambodian monumental heritage,” according to Unesco. Sackona said efforts to register Koh Ker might be aided by the inclusion of Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological complex, which was listed as a World Heritage Site last year.

“My team has started this process. In fact, submitting the proposals is not easy. It takes four years, which includes investigating and reviewing documents in French. Many countries have submitted their proposals and conditions have become more difficult,” she said.

Prak Sovannara, the general director of the heritage department at the ministry, said since 1992, Cambodia has submitted eight temples and historical sites for tentative Unesco listing.

He said after being placed on the tentative list, more evidence and documents must be prepared to be listed as a World Heritage Site.

“We have sites on Unesco’s tentative lists. However, we have never sent proper documents for them to recognise our temples,” he said.

‘Intangible heritage’

Koh Ker temple is in Srayong commune, Kulen district, Preah Vihear province, about 120km from Siem Reap.

Experts believe it was built during the reign of King Jayavarman IV (928-944) to serve as the capital city of the Khmer Empire. In 944, according to Unesco, Koh Ker was abandoned when King Rajendravarman moved his capital to today’s Angkor.

The ministry said the Koh Ker complex currently consists of 86 monuments, although new temples may be discovered.

Cambodia has three World Heritage Sites. They are Angkor which was listed in 1992, Preah Vihear Temple (2008 and the Temple Zone of Sambor Kuk, Archeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura (2017).

It also has four areas of culture that are considered intangible cultural heritage.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration