via AFP, Yahoo.com:
It has survived centuries of monsoon rains, a US bombing campaign and rampant looting.
Now the ancient temple city of Sambor Prei Kuk in Cambodia is finally ready for a renaissance — and is teasing tourists to its forest-cocooned ruins.
Cloistered by trees and linked by winding dirt trails, the site has played second fiddle to its much bigger cousin to the west — Angkor Wat — Cambodia’s top tourist destination.
But in July it gained a listing by the UNESCO World Heritage, promising a tourist bonanza that could breathe new life into a once-thriving 6th and 7th century metropolis.
“We have already seen more and more local and foreign tourists flocking to visit our site,” said Hang Than, an official who manages the compound, as he strolled towards one of several temples spectacularly wrapped in tree roots.
Source: Bombed and looted ancient Cambodian city poised for rebirth
18 July 2017, Khmer Times and various sources: Tourism to Sambor Prei Kuk has seen a boost since it was listed as a World Heritage Site last week.
PM Hun Sen has called on international committee responsible for safeguarding Angkor Wat to extend coverage to the Sambor Prei Kuk.
Source: Tourists flock to Sambor Prei Kuk – Khmer Times
Over the weekend, the temple complex of Sambor Prei Kuk became Southeast Asia’s newest World Heritage site and Cambodia’s third after Angkor and Preah Vihear. It was known in the 6-7th centuries as Ishanapura, the capital of the Chenla empire.
Source: Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura – UNESCO World Heritage Centre
- Cambodia’s new World Heritage Site is 25 straight kilometers of ruins (The China Post, 11 July 2017)
- Ancient Cambodian temple is new UNESCO world heritage site (Jagran Josh, 10 July 2017)
- Temples Recognized as Cambodia’s Third World Heritage Site (Cambodia Daily, 10 July 2017)
- Additions to Unesco’s World Heritage list: A look at 7 new sites (The Straits Times, 10 July 2017)
- Cambodian temple site gets Unesco world heritage status (Reuters, via Free Malaysia Today, 10 July 2017)
- Kampong Thom’s Sambor Prei Kuk gets Unesco listing (Phnom Penh Post, 10 July 2017)
- Cambodian temple complex listed as world heritage site (Kyodo News, via Bangkok Post, 09 July 2017)
- Cambodia’s Sambor Prei Kuk temple zone on World Heritage List (IANS, via Web India, 09 July 2017)
- Cambodia’s Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk inscribed on World Heritage List: statement (Xinhua, 09 July 2017)
- Sites in Cambodia, China and India added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List (Unesco, 08 July 2017)
via The Irrawaddy, 29 June 2017: Expect a succession of nominations from Myanmar to Unesco’s World Heritage list in the next few years.
The Union minister of religious affairs and culture U Aung Ko said his ministry plans to nominate Arakan State’s Mrauk U and Shwedagon Pagoda for UNESCO’s list of culturally significant sites after Bagan.
Since 2016, countries have been limited to one UNESCO nomination per year so the ministry chose Bagan first, said the minister.
The draft report and draft management plan needed for Bagan’s nomination will be submitted in September and UNESCO officials will visit the site in 2018.
Source: Culture Ministry to Nominate Bagan, Mrauk U, Shwedagon for UNESCO Recognition
TTR Weekly, 20 June 2017
Bagan’s World Heritage zone will skirt existing buildings and in some areas be extended to ensure communities do not lose residences or buildings.
The city is preparing its presentation, which will be the framework for a comprehensive request for UNESCO World Heritage recognition, but considerable pressure from residents who stood to lose property has now prompted revisions of the strict zoning that was earlier proposed.
Source: Bagan redraws heritage zones : TTR Weekly
Myanmar Times, 15 June 2017:
Efforts to list Bagan as a UNESCO World Heritage site are underway and an application could be made by September, U Aung Aung Kyaw, director of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum in Bagan, has told The Myanmar Times.
Source: Bagan World Heritage zone to be extended
Various sources, see below: In the past week, the APSARA Authority has been cracking down on illegal construction projects – as many as 500 – in the Angkor Archaeological Park.
The Apsara Authority, which oversees the Angkor Wat temple complex, has warned the owners of over 500 unauthorised construction sites to halt activity and dismantle any structures or police will clear the sites later this week.
Source: Apsara seeking to stop illegal building activity, National, Phnom Penh Post
Xinhua, 13 June 2017:
Myanmar is striving to enlist Bagan, a famous ancient city in the central part of the country with thousands of religious edifices and pagodas, as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Cooperation is being made with intellectuals and technicians for the maintenance of Bagan which has dignity and value for being a world heritage if enlisted.
In fact, the plan for the purpose was launched in 1996 but was resumed in 2017.
Amid efforts for listing the Bagan Archaeological Zone as the World Cultural Heritage, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed some religious edifices and pagodas on Aug 24 last year and the restoration works were being done by experts to maintain their original shape, form and value.
Source: Myanmar strives to enlist Bagan as world cultural heritage – Xinhua | English.news.cn
The Maritime Silk Route would naturally include many Southeast Asian stops.
UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes
There has been much discussion about possible strategies for the nominations on the UNESCO World Heritage List of the impact of maritime trade on the cultures and civilizations between East and West often referred to as the ‘Maritime Silk Routes’. The aim of this UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes, which will be held on 30-31 May 2017 in London, is to bring together scholars who have worked on the history, archaeology, and heritage of maritime interactions across this vast area in order to discuss the strategy for further research, as well as the development of a platform to enter into a possible dialogue with the States Parties of the World Heritage Convention along the Maritime Silk Routes.
Source: UNESCO World Heritage Centre – UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes
New York Times, 11 May 2017: The NYT has a ground level look at Myanmar’s bid to put Bagan on the World Heritage List. While I suspect that we, readers from the outside, think that the World Heritage listing is a good thing for the ruins and the country, the article is more ambivalent about what this current push means.
“World Heritage? No one cares about that,” Ms. Soe Moe Thue said as she stood under an umbrella in a light drizzle recently. “We just need to survive.”
Bagan’s monument complex is a crown jewel in a tourism sector that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and has grown rapidly since Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, began a rocky transition toward democracy in 2011.
Source: Myanmar Is Restoring Temples to Rebuild its Heritage – The New York Times