Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Push for cultural icons to join UN heritage list

Push for cultural icons to join UN heritage list

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Unesco’s committee selected Lakhon Khol for the world heritage list in November last year. Pha Lina

Push for cultural icons to join UN heritage list

The Ministry of Fine Arts and Culture is hoping to have Cambodian musical theatre Lakhon Yike, traditional silver handicrafts and other art forms placed on Unesco’s cultural heritage list, it announced on Wednesday.

After closing the 5th Youth Art Festival at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk Theatre on Wednesday, Minister of Fine Arts and Culture Phoeurng Sackona said the ministry is looking to further register other tangible and intangible examples of cultural heritage, following the inclusion of traditional Cambodian dance drama Lakhon Khol last year.

“We filed for [Cambodian martial art] l’bokator to be included on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2017 and are now waiting for the decision from Unesco in 2020."

“The ministry is currently preparing documents on silk weaving . . . Lakhon Yike and traditional silver handicrafts to prepare a request to the Unesco committee in order have them registered on the world heritage list,” Sackona said.

Hab Touch, the director-general of the General Department of Cultural Affairs at the ministry, told The Post on Wednesday that l’bokator had been filed with the Unesco committee since early 2017 along with Lakhon Khol.

Unesco’s committee selected Lakhon Khol for the world heritage list in November last year, while l’bokator’s inclusion was still being decided due to similar claims from neighbouring countries.

“At the moment, we are preparing for l’bokator in 2020 because Thailand and other Asean members states have made similar requests to the Unesco committee,” Touch said.

Cambodia has successfully registered eight examples of tangible and intangible cultural heritage with Unesco – Angkor Wat, royal dance, Lakhon Sbek, or Lakhon Sbek Thom, Preah Vihear temple, Khmer tug-of-war, Champei Dong Veng, Sambor Prei Kuk temple and Lakhon Khol.

Lakhon Khol began in the early Angkor era. In accordance with bas-reliefs on Angkor temple walls, it is believed that the genre was first performed in the ninth century.

According to the book Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Cambodia, Lakhon Khol was developed as an entirely male version of Khmer classical court dance.

The only story specifically performed by Lakhon Khol is the Reamke, the Khmer version of the Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic poem.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro