Cambodia protests against replica temple in India

Cambodia raises an official complaint to India over the construction of a temple in Bihar, which is modeled after Angkor Wat and designed to be larger than in. The basis for the Cambodian protest is that Angkor Wat is a symbol of the country itself (it is on the flag after all), and the replica temple will diminish that status – and also draw away tourist dollars.

Angkor ‘copy’ raises ire
Phnom Penh Post, 08 June 2015

Cambodia lodges protest with India over Angkor Wat replica
Hindustan Times, 07 June 2015

Cambodia lodges protest with India over Angkor Wat replica
IBN Live, 07 June 2015

Angkor ‘replica’ plan angers Cambodia
Bangkok Post, 06 June 2015

Cambodia protests India’s plan to build replica of iconic Angkor Wat Temple
Xinhua, 06 June 2015

Angkor Wat Is No. 1 Landmark, But Indian Copy Inspires Fear
Cambodia Daily, 05 June 2015

Cambodian Government worried about Bihar’s Viraat Ramayana Temple
Bihar Prabha, 04 June 2015

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken its concerns over a large-scale “copy” of Angkor Wat to be built in Bihar, India – first mooted to a firestorm of controversy in 2012 – directly to the Indian government, asking it to intervene and put a halt to the project.

In a letter sent Saturday to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the government appealed to India to act in order to maintain “historical” diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia considers that this copy of Angkor Wat temple [built] for commercial benefit seriously violates [its] world heritage, which is a universal and exceptional value of humanity,” the letter states.

It continued: “[The Cambodian government] strongly requests that India’s Ministry of External Affairs … reconsiders the planned construction of the Angkor Wat replica in order to preserve the traditional historic relations between the two countries and our people.”

Read the Phnom Penh Post 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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