Cambodia Commemorates the Listing of Preah Vihear and Sambor Prei Kuk Temples as World Heritage Sites

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AKP Phnom Penh, July 15, 2018 — Some 10,000 Cambodian people, especially the youths, gathered here this evening at the National Olympic Stadium to celebrate the registration of Preah Vihear and Sambor Prei Kuk Temples on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

This auspicious event was presided over by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and his spouse Samdech Kittiprittbandit Bun Rany Hun Sen with many Cambodian high-ranking officials and foreign ambassadors accredited to Cambodia in attendance.

On the occasion, the Premier highlighted the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s attention to the national heritage conservation and enhancement and called for continued support from all his compatriots to the RGC’s policies, especially in preserving all ancient temples.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen reaffirmed to continue the policy of establishing a border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development with the neighbouring countries and recalled the efforts of the late Samdech Vibol Panha Sok An, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers and H.E. Mrs. Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts for the listing of the Temples of Preah Vihear and Sambor Prei Kuk as World Heritage Sites, respectively.

Art performances were held and fireworks were displayed to cheer the event.

This morning, the commemoration also took place in Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom provinces.

The Khmer sacred 11th-century Preah Vihear Temple was listed as a World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008 during the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee held in Quebec, Canada. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple is located in Sa-em commune, Chorm Ksan district, Preah Vihear province on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia. Composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800 metre long axis, the site is exceptional for the quality of its architecture, which is adapted to the natural environment and the religious function of the temple, as well as for the exceptional quality of its carved stone ornamentation.

For its part, Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, a group of Khmer ancient temples, became a new World Heritage Site on July 8, 2017 during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee held in Krakow, Poland. This well-known cultural, historical and archaeological site of Cambodia, situated in Sambo village, Sambo commune, Prasat Sambo district, Kampong Thom province, encompasses 3,000 hectare land surface in the forest situated about 30 kilometres from Kampong Thom provincial town.

With the two sacred temples, Cambodia has in total seven heritages registered on the World Heritage List. The Historic Site of Angkor was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1992, Preah Reach Troap Dance (Royal Ballet) and Lakhon Sbek Thom (big shadow puppet) were proclaimed masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity respectively in 2003 and 2005, Teanh Prot (tug-of-war), a popular recreational game, was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015, and Chapei Dang Veng, a Cambodian musical instrument, was registered in 2016 on the UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

By C. Nika