Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Museum in Preah Vihear ready to open after 10 years preparing



Museum in Preah Vihear ready to open after 10 years preparing

Cambodian Buddhist monks walk at Preah Vihear temple, near the Thai border in Preah Vihear province, on July 21, 2008. A new museum was set to open near the temple on Tuesday. Tang Chin Sothy/AFP
Cambodian Buddhist monks walk at Preah Vihear temple, near the Thai border in Preah Vihear province, on July 21, 2008. A new museum was set to open near the temple on Tuesday. Tang Chin Sothy/AFP

Museum in Preah Vihear ready to open after 10 years preparing

A new museum near Preah Vihear temple will be inaugurated on Tuesday, 10 years after the project began. The Samdech Techo Hun Sen Eco-Global Museum consists of 11 buildings on a 177-hectare plot of land in Choam Ksan district. It will present artefacts from the nearby temple and related heritage sites, as well as exhibitions on local culture, flora and fauna.

“The purpose of creating this museum during the war time with the neighbouring country is to show the world that Cambodia does not need war, we need only peace, to preserve the national heritage, to transfer knowledge from the past to the public and to educate the locals to love their national heritage and disseminate it to others,” said museum Director Som Piseth.

Unesco provided technical support for the project, with the finances partly supported by the Cambodian government, by funds from Prime Minister Hun Sen and from other donors. Piseth was unable to provide information about the project’s costs.

Among the challenges in building the museum was the ongoing border conflict with Thailand until the end of 2013, a lack of equipment and workers, and the remoteness of the museum, he said.

The museum is distinct from others not only in terms of its size but also in what it will show, with objects on display ranging from ancient artefacts to information about a variety of heritage locations in Cambodia, and even exhibits on neighbouring countries. It will also focus on local indigenous cultures, especially the Kuy ethnic group – including their role during the Angkorian era as elephant breeders and as armourers.

“It is really a museum which is showing the cultural diversity of Cambodia,” Unesco representative Anne Lemaistre said. “It is the first ethnographic museum in Cambodia.”

Its variety is part of the attraction, Piseth said, with its focus not on “one specific theme or topic”.

“We do not only focus on showing the archaeological collections but we also show the history of other world heritage countries such as Laos, Vietnam, the culture and the livelihoods of indigenous people, as well as the flora and fauna in the area,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10