New Angkor museum a symbol of good relations with North Korea

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Another story about the newly-opened museum in Siem Reap run by North Korea. It looks like the museum also has North Korean staff.

Mysterious North Korean museum opens in Cambodia
Japan Times, 18 January 2016

Yit Chandaroat, deputy chief of the museum, said he could see no other reason than seizing a business opportunity, citing the ever-increasing flow of foreign tourists visiting the Angkor Wat temple complex located nearby.

However, he did not rule out North Korea having the diplomatic motive of seeking to maintain its good ties with Cambodia and increase its footprint in Siem Reap well beyond two restaurants named Pyongyang.

The museum may also serve to promote North Korea’s identity, with visitors able to talk to North Korean women working inside, view paintings that depict the North’s mountain views and sample its ginseng tea.

According to Yit Chandaroat, more than 20 North Korean staffers are working there, including a dozen females.

Full story here.

The new Angkor Panorama Museum

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Angkor Panorama Museum. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151127

There’s a new museum in Siem Reap, the Angkor Panorama Museum, which is built and funded by the North Korean government. I visited it on the opening day last week and it was a big information gallery of all the temples, but for the $15 price tag it might be a better idea to hop on a tuk tuk for the same price and see the real temples instead!

Angkor Panorama Museum. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151127

Angkor Panorama Museum. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151127

North Korea-funded museum set to open in Siem Reap
Phnom Penh Post, 27 November 2015

An Angkor-themed museum funded and operated by North Korea, but located in Siem Reap, is finally set to open after years of delays.

The vast Grand Panorama museum, set on a 4-hectare site just 3 kilometres from the temple complex, is due to open on December 4, according to Long Kosal, spokesman for the Apsara Authority, which manages the temples.

“Because of the current holiday, invitations to the opening ceremony have not yet been sent out, but they will be distributed soon,” he said.

Kosal added that the North Korean company that built the museum would run it, together with the government, for 10 years, during which time they would get back their investment plus profit. Management would then transfer to Apsara.

Full story here.