Heritage advocate appeals to Cambodian PM on Angkor Wat lights

A heritage conservtion specialist has appealed to the Cambodian PM about the recent installation of lights at Angkor Wat, arguing that they are unsightly and will do little to boost the income Angkor generates by allowing night tours. In contrast, the Minister of Tourism and the Apsara Authority have both made the case for increasing income, however they remain “vague” about the fixtures for the lights.

Angkor lights stir controversy
Phnom Penh Post, 28 May 2009

A heritage advocate has sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen urging him to stop an ongoing light installation project at the Angkor Wat temple, saying equipping the 11-century World Heritage site with lights will have a negative effect on its ambiance.

“The illumination will disturb tourists and badly affect the beauty of the temples. By the law of the Apsara Authority, even villagers are not allowed to build new houses in the Angkor area, but it is regrettable that the area is now equipped with lights,” Moeung Son, president of the Khmer Civilisation Foundation Organisation (KCF), said at a press conference Tuesday.


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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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