via Phnom Penh Post, 30 May 2019: The Preah Vihear Authority releases a statement condemning the ‘fake news’ that bas-reliefs from the Preah Vihear temple have been vandalised.
The National Authority for Preah Vihear on Tuesday issued a statement condemning a website article that suggested images of female Apsara spirits on bas-reliefs in the temple had recently been vandalised by “bad individuals” as “fake news”.
Pictures of damaged temple bas-reliefs had been published on the “KH News 360” website since January 9, but they were shared by Facebook users again over recent days, angering authorities.
“Everything is [disappearing]! No one opens their eyes to look at them. Why are [the vandals’] hands so damned harmful?” the article said.
It said some “bad individuals” had recently used an electric stone cutter to damage the Apsara images, destroying ancient bas-reliefs on walls of the temple.
“This looks unbelievable, and it is really sad that what our ancestors had so carefully crafted has been ruined by these people,” the article said.
Seven pictures of Apasara images were published with the article. Some had been largely destroyed, while others had been completely removed from the walls.
The author did not give the name or location of the temple, but the article carried a dateline saying “From Preah Vihear Temple”.