A joint French-Cambodian initiative is seeking to establish an immersive digital museum in Siem Reap province.

Representatives of Immersive Angkor Legacy Co Ltd – which is working with a large French technology firm – met with Siem Reap provincial governor Prak Sophoan on February 6 to discuss the project.

Also in attendance were Ke Bin Soreasmey, CEO of consulting firm Confluences Market Access, and representatives from the provincial departments of Tourism and Culture and Fine Arts.

During the meeting, Soreasmey highlighted the potential benefits of a modern digital heritage project, and noted that a prominent French tech firm is interested in investing in the museum.

“Construction of the digital museum is anticipated to commence in March 2025,” he said.

Sophoan described his keen interest in the new project.

“We endorse the construction of a digital museum and look forward to its timely completion,” he said.

Ly Vannak, chief of administration at the provincial hall, said on February 7 that during the discussions, Immersive Angkor sought cooperation and support from the authorities.

”The company briefed us on the project’s inception, as well as its plans to build a digital museum. Through a collaborative effort with the provincial administration, we aim to realise the construction project,” he said.

Vannak explained that further details about the location or cost of the museum are not yet available.

Chhort Bunthong, head of the Culture, Education and Tourist Relations Department at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that based on his extensive experience visiting museums across the region, the most popular are the ones that feature modern or digital amenities, as they are very accessible to visitors from different backgrounds.

If the project came to fruition, it would be a significant development for the entire country, given Siem Reap’s abundance of cultural and historical treasures, he said.

Additionally, he noted that many of Cambodia’s numerous antiquities are currently inaccessible to tourists. The construction of a digital museum would allow visitors to admire digital images of artefacts they might not otherwise see.