Cambodia not amused by replica Angkor Wat plans

As expected, the official reaction to the Bihar Mahavir Mandir Trust’s plan to build a replica Angkor Wat in Bihar that was same-same, but bigger was not positive. The Cambodian government has called it “a shameful act”.

Cambodia expresses irritation at Angkor Wat copy in India
Bikyamasr.com, 07 March 2012

Angkor redux scepticism
Phnom Penh Post, 07 March 2012

Angkor’s away! India plans larger than life copy of Cambodia’s iconic temple
The Indepdendent, 08 March 2012

The Cambodian government said Wednesday the decision by a Hindu trust to build a full-scale replica in India of the Angkor Wat temple was “a shameful act.”

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said imitating Cambodia’s best-known structure and key tourist drawcard was a deliberate attempt to undermine its “universal value.”

“Angkor Wat is Angkor Wat – it is unique,” he said of the 12th-century temple that was listed as a World Heritage site in 1992.

“They are raising this to be confrontational (and) it is provocative of the World Heritage principle,” he said. “We won’t let anyone confuse the world that there are two Angkor Wats.”

Full story here.

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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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