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
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Expedition to sail the Philippine seas in ancient watercraft

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A Filipino expedition is preparing to navigate the Philippine seas using an ancient reconstructed boat type called the Balanghay.  This sailing of ancient maritime routes using centuries old technology isn’t new; Thor Heyadhal did it in his Kon-tiki experiment back in 1947 when he sailed from Peru to the Tuamoti Islands in the pacific (although the consensus is that migration to South America came from the west, i.e. Asia, and not the other way around); and more recently the Lapita Voyage by two archaeologists from Durham University will attempt to trace the migration routes of the Austronesians using traditional Polynesian boats.

An ancient journey retraced
Business Mirror, 21 May 2009
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Thailand tells Unesco to ask before entering

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A recent visit by Unesco officials to Preah Vihear prompted a curt notice by Thailand that Unesco must ask for permission from Thailand before any visits to disputed areas. However, the Unesco delegation said that they steered clear of any disputed areas and only toured the Cambodian side. It sounds like Thailand is touchy over the (unresolved) territory issue at Preah Vihear, and it also goes to show how much injured pride is at the heart of this border dispute.

Thailand to UNESCO: Ask before entering disputed border zone
MCOT News, 21 May 2009
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Bad idea: To open up Angkor Wat at night

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Here’s a bit of worrying news from Siem Reap. It seems that the tourism authorities want to extend visiting hours to the Angkor temples to night time in a bid to get more tourists and their dollars. I wonder what kind of infrastructural change facilitating night visits will entail – the construction of proper walking tracks so visitors don’t go literally feeling their way around? What about the placement of lights? The second story reports about how some agency (not sure who, the blame’s still being shifted around) had drilled holes into the walls of Angkor Wat for the installation of lightbulbs. It sounds like every conservationist’s fears about preserving the site is coming true…

Cambodia '08 - 214 - Angkor Wat
photo credit: mckaysavage

Cambodia may open Angkor Wat at night for visits
AP, via the Star, 26 May 2009

Holes are drilled into the angkor wat temple to attach electric bulbs – Who Is Wrong?
The Mirror, 25 May 2009
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Documentary to highlight 1,000-year-old relations between Brunei and China

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A special documentary programme is being produced to showcase Brunei’s long history with China, through archaeological evidence from the 10th century Sungei Limau Manis site containing Song Dynasty artefacts, the shipwreck at Tanjung Simpang Mengkayauas well as the many ancient Chinese-Muslim graves in Brunei.

1,000 Years Of Brunei-China Ties To Be Documented
BruDirect, 21 May 2009

RTB To Film Documentary 7 On Brunei-China History
BruDirect, 21 May 2009
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Vietnamese ministry proposes new laws on heritage management

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After recent reports of improper restoration works (see here and here) at some of Vietnam’s oldest sites, the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposes a new set of laws to ensure that contractors carrying out restoration work follow a strict set of guidelines aimed at preserving the ancient structures.

Rules for restoration of relics a must
Vietnam Net Bridge, 20 May 2009
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Indonesian museums don't have enough money

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While it’s probably true that all museums could use a little extra money to run, it’s probably not as dire as the museum scene in Indonesia, where the museums in Jakarta are facing serious problems in their administration, from poor displays to the inability to hold public programmes and even basic security.

Museum Fatahilah, Front Facade
photo credit: DMahendra

Funding problems harm museums
Jakarta Post, 18 May 2009
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Categories: Ceramics Indonesia Museums

Angkor Ancestors at the Cambodian National Museum

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The latest exhibition in the National Museum Cambodia, Angkor Ancestors, draws our attention to the Bronze Age remains and artefacts found in what is now Angkor’s Western Baray. The exhibition is on now until the end of the year, so catch the exhibition if you’re there. (Many thanks to Sam Campbell for sharing with us the link.)

foto's camera 103
photo credit: Tjeerd

Angkor Ancestors
Economics Today Magazine, 15-31 May 2009 (Direct link here)
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