T HE man in charge of Angkor development, APSARA vice-president Vann Moulyvann, says he "agrees completely"
with Eleanor Mannikka's concerns about the planned Malaysian "light and sound" show at Angkor Wat.
The show - which Mannikka says is a "prostitution" of the ancestry and history of the Khmer - has not
yet been approved, Vann Moulyvann said.
"I'm extremely touched and profoundly impressed by what (Mannikka) has tried to do to save Angkor," he
said, adding that he knew Mannikka and her work very well.
He said he had asked and was still waiting for a full technical, cultural and economic proposal about the show
from Malaysian company YTL Corp.
At that stage Moulyvann himself will have the power to veto the scheme.
If accepted, the proposal would then go to an inter-governmental committee, chaired by France and Japan, and represented
too by UNESCO. That committee - which is scheduled to meet on January 8 next month - also had the power of veto,
UNESCO representatives in Phnom Penh refused to comment on the show, and Mannikka's criticisms, pending their being
given the Malaysian report.
However, Moulyvann cautioned that three years had already past till now, before Cambodia had finally been able
to begin an agreed five-year plan to develop the Angkor site.
As well, Cambodia had to be aware of the economic benefits of the developed site, he said.
There was too a precedent for a "sound and light" show at Angkor - set by Moulyvann himself, during King
Sihanouk's Sangkum Reastr Niyum.
"I was in charge of mounting a sound and light program for the visit of General (Charles) de Galle... and
there were also similar programs for (Yugoslav President) Tito and (Indonesian President) Sukarno.
"At that time I took the example of sound and light shows at the Pyramids in Egypt and Athen's Acropolis...
they were very good examples for me. I got the idea how to show these with the highest degree of cultural value,"
"This was a great success."