PM marks temple’s UNESCO listing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Temple of Preah Vihear dates back to the period when Angkor flourished during the 9th to the 14th centuries. Heng Chivoan

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday posted a congratulatory message on Facebook to mark the 12th anniversary of the listing of the Temple of Preah Vihear on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

“July 7, 2020, marks the 12th anniversary of the inscription of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List,” he said.

Cambodia received sole ownership of the holy temple after defeating Thailand at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on June 15, 1962.

Hun Sen wrote that the Temple of Preah Vihear is a sacred one located in the Dangrek Mountains and was listed as a World Heritage Site at the 32nd meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Quebec, Canada.

History professor Sambo Manara told The Post on Tuesday that it was an important point for the Cambodian leader to take into account the value of national and international heritage.

The Temple of Preah Vihear dates back to the period when Angkor flourished during the 9th to the 14th centuries.

He said the temple was expanded between the reign of King Yasovarman I, the king who founded Yasodharapura (the first capital of the Khmer Empire), and King Jayavarman VII’s reign.

Yasodharapura roughly translates to the “glory-preserving city” and was the designated name for each subsequent capital of the Khmer Empire as well.

“Hun Sen’s congratulatory message is a celebration of the achievements of our Khmer ancestors and the efforts of modern Cambodians who sought to claim the temple and make it well-known internationally,” Manara said.

In an article published on its website on Monday, UNESCO Cambodia said the National Authority for Preah Vihear and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts have been making efforts to preserve the temple.

“To preserve the site, UNESCO has been assisting the government in organising the International Coordinating Committee for the Conservation and Enhancement of the Temple of Preah Vihear (ICC-Preah Vihear), following the model of management of the Angkor World Heritage Site.

“UNESCO has been assisting the Preah Vihear National Authority in safeguarding the integrity of the archaeological site and the authenticity of the historical monument in line with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals,” it said.