Cambodia ups tempo for third UNESCO site

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Cambodia ups tempo for third UNESCO site

Cambodia’s Culture Ministry has announced that the country is seeking to have a third temple added to its list of UNESCO designated World Heritage sites.

Phoeurng Sackona, the national culture minister, told reporters that Cambodia hoped to have the Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex added to the list. 

The minister continued by saying that four-fifths of the documents needed to apply for the listing had already been prepared and the task should be completed by year’s end. She finished off by saying that if all went according to schedule, the application would be officially submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris in early 2015. 

TTR reported that if accepted, Sambor Prei Kuk will join Angkor Wat and Khao Preah Vihear on Cambodia’s UNESCO World Heritage listings. Sambor Prei Kuk pre-dates the Angkor Empire and construction was started by King Isanavarman I in the 7th century. 

There are three clusters of temples spread out over squares with external walls. Highlights of the temples include towers, chapels and statues of Shiva and lions. Sambor Prei Kuk is in a forested district close to the banks of the Tonle Sap River in Kampong Thom Province. 

It was first placed on the tentative list of UNESCO sites in 1992. The Culture Ministry surveyed the complex six years later. A restoration project in collaboration with Tokyo’s Waseda University started in 2001. The ongoing process has seen a number of the temple’s clay structures restored. 

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