Preah Vihear damaged from latest round of fighting

Cambodia intends to lodge a complaint to UNESCO for the damage caused to the Preah Vihear temple caused by Thai machine gun fire. The gunshots, affecting about 66 stones, were made last week during the lastest gunfight between the Thai and Cambodian armies facing off at the temple grounds. Gunshot damage on the walls are quite a common sight in Angkor, but they were a product of the earlier civil war. It’s sad to see that we have not learnt any better.

Preah Vihear damage significant
The Phnom Penh Post, 08 April 2009

An investigation by Heritage Police at Preah Vihear temple suggests that the damage sustained during Friday’s fighting was more serious but less widespread, than that resulting from an outbreak of violence last October.

The investigation was conducted on Sunday and Monday. Om Phirum said the Heritage Police submitted a report on damage to the temple to the Council of Ministers and a complaint to the UN cultural agency, which listed the temple as a World Heritage site last July. He said the Heritage Police sent a similar complaint to UNESCO following the outbreak of violence last October, which he said prompted the body to launch its own investigation into the damage.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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