Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sambor Prei Kuk celebrates 4th anniversary of UNESCO listing

Sambor Prei Kuk celebrates 4th anniversary of UNESCO listing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The number of visitors has increased about tenfold since the temole complex was listed as a World Heritag Site. Hong Menea

Sambor Prei Kuk celebrates 4th anniversary of UNESCO listing

The Kingdom on July 8 celebrated the 4th anniversary of the listing of Sambor Prei Kuk as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sambor Prei Kuk was listed on July 8, 2017, during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland. It has been the third temple listed after Angkor Wat in 1992 and Preah Vihear in 2008.

The temple complex, located in Kampong Thom province, was built in the Chenla era in the early 7th century by King Isanavarman I. The area has 293 temples.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Sambor Prei Kuk had developed into an appealing cultural tourist destination. He called on the public to protect Cambodia’s temples for future generations.

“Listing ancient temples not only makes them get international protection but also raises the profile of our cultural heritage and temples to the international stage,” he said.

Phan Nady, director-general of the Sambor Prei Kuk National Authority (SPKNA), said the event could only be commemorated virtually this year amid the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19.

“For this year’s celebration, the government cannot permit a big gathering due to Covid-19, but authorities have prepared banners around the temple resort and celebrations are held on social media,” he said.

Nady said since the temple was listed, the authority has completed many projects, including placing signposts showing directions to the temple, installing three toilets and proper eateries for tourists, and carrying out temple restoration works.

He said that during the last four years, the SPKNA had repaired temples at high risk of damage. ICC Angkor – the international coordinating mechanism for assistance provided by different countries and organisations on safeguarding the temples – provided input.

The SPKNA also prevented any construction inside the temple compound.

In addition, many workshops had been held to raise awareness among local residents on the value of the temples so people can protect them. In return, it said, they will benefit from visitors.

“A heritage site can be well preserved only when there is participation from the public, especially from the local community. If they understand its value and benefits, they will participate. If they get nothing from it, they will not care,” Nady said.

He said that before Covid-19 hit the tourism sector, the community around Sambor Prei Kuk had benefitted much from tourists. The number of visitors had increased about tenfold since it was listed. However, when Covid-19 struck, the temple found itself in the same situation as other temples across the country.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42