Cambodia is collaborating with national experts and international friends to prepare a proposal for the Koh Ker Temple to submit it to the World Heritage Committee early next year.

Director-general of the National Authority for Preah Vihear, Kong Puthika, who led the research on the merits of Koh Ker Temple, told Khmer Times yesterday that the Minister of Culture Phuong Sakona has been leading the preparation of the document. Currently, they are preparing three main documents required by the World Heritage Committee, such as the registration application documents, the site management planning documents and the documents for tourism development after registration.

“We have been working on this since 2018, and so far, we have prepared 98-99 percent. When finalised we will submit the documents to the Ministry of Culture, to report to the Prime Minister before submitting to them to the World Heritage Committee in early 2021,” he said.

According to the World Heritage Committee, Cambodia has to submit the documents before February 1, 2021. He added that in 2004, the government set an area for Koh Ker Temple of 8,100 hectares. However, international experts who have been helping prepare the heritage applications examined the potential of the resort and asked the government to issue a new decree of 8,700 hectares.

The Minister of Culture spokesman Long Punnaserivath told Khmer times yesterday Koh Ker Temple will be proposed as a World Heritage Site because it has universal value to showcase Cambodian culture, it would benefit the conservation goals of the temple and attract tourists.

Once they have received the application, “the World Heritage Committee will send the experts to inspect the site and provide further advice,” he added.

At the 6th Plenary Meeting of the International Coordinating Committee for the Preservation and Promotion of Preah Vihear (ICC-Preah Vihear) held on Tuesday via video conference the Sakona reiterated that the ministry is preparing documents and will submit them to the World Heritage Committee for review and decision in the near future.

Koh Ker Temple is located in Srayong Cheung village, Srayong commune, Kulen district, Preah Vihear province, approximately 72 km from Siem Reap province if traveling along Road 211 and 49 km from Preah Vihear provincial town. In the past, Cambodian temples have been inscribed on the World Heritage List, with Angkor Wat listed in 1992, Preah Vihear in 2008 and Sambor Prei Kuk in 2017.

In 2018, Cambodia surveyed the Koh Ker Temple area in Preah Vihear province and Banteay Chhmar temple in Banteay Meanchey province to propose these two temples to be inscribed on the World Heritage list.


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