Cambodia celebrates 12 years of Preah Vihear Temple as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

On 7 July, the Government of Cambodia will organize a ceremony at the Preah Vihear Temple to mark the twelfth anniversary after its inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The National Authority for Preah Vihear, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has been making safeguarding efforts to preserve the value and authenticity as an outstanding historical monument, whilst urging international community to continue their assistance to preserve the value of the Temple that their ancestors handed over to us today. In order to preserve the site, UNESCO has been assisting the government in organizing 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.

Commending the Prime Minister’s leadership for the preservation of country’s heritage sites including Preah Vihear temple, Sardar Umar Alam, UNESCO Representative to Cambodia, expressed UNESCO’s commitments for the preservation of rich cultural heritage of Cambodia. He also underlined that safeguarding the heritage is inseparable from the role that education plays in protecting and promoting the world heritage, which is an inherent part of UNESCO’s mission to educate and promote the values of peace, respect and mutual understanding between people and cultures.

The temple is located in the northern province of Preah Vihear, 400 km north of Phnom Penh and 140 km northwest of Angkor, on the central summit perched on the edge of the precipice under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Cambodia.  Preah Vihear Temple, dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva in the form of Shri Shikarashvara or Lord of the Summit, is an outstanding masterpiece of the Khmer Art, in terms of planning, detail of its decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape environment.

Built on an 800 metres long axis linked by a system of pavements and staircases along the cliff, Preah Vihear Temple is different from those of Angkor, which were built on an alluvial plain. Due to is unique location, the sanctuary was not built according to the techniques found in the other Khmer temples and this uniqueness also represents a major challenge of the delicate restoration process.

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.

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