via Khmer Times, 08 July 2021 (and lots of related links below): This story has been developing over the week and I was waiting for it to resolve because on one hand it ultimately was over nothing, and on the other hand, it shows how nationalism can get in the way of appreciating shared cultures. Cambodian social media was abuzz over photos of a meditation centre in Buriram province (Thailand) being constructed in the form of ancient Khmer architecture. Cambodians began accusing the Thailand of trying to build a replica of Angkor Wat, which was later confirmed to be false through diplomatic action. It’s important to note that the meditation centre was indeed basing its design on ancient Khmer architecture, but there are examples in Thailand as well. In fact, Buriram province is particularly proud of its ancient Khmer ruins (eg. Prasat Phanom Rung), and they feature prominently in both the provincial seal as well as on the logo of its popular football team.
The Ministry of Culture yesterday said that after reviewing engineering plans of the construction of a meditation centre in Thailand that it is not the same as Angkor Wat.
The centre is being built in Thailand’s Buriram province and sparked outrage by Cambodians after photos of the construction spread like wildfire across social media.
The ministry on Tuesday asked the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok and the consulate in Sakaeo province to investigate the construction before pushing for diplomatic action after people kept asking whether or not the centre was a copy of Angkor Wat.
- Spat over history futile | Bangkok Post, 10 July 2021
- Thai Abbot, Cambodian authorities, both deny new temple complex is copy of Angkor Wat | Khmer Times, 08 July 2021
- Abbot denies new temple complex is copy of Angkor Wat | Bangkok Post, 07 July 2021
- Temple ‘not Angkor Wat replica’ | Phnom Penh Post, 07 July 2021
- UPDATE: Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts: ‘Thai Angkor’ does ‘not copy the design or build in the same architectural style as the temple of Angkor Wat’ | Khmer Times, 07 July 2021
- Controversy as Thais build meditation centre ‘modelled after Angkor Wat’ | Khmer Times, 07 July 2021
- Cambodia investigating the Angkor Wat replica case in Thailand | Khmer Times, 07 July 2021
- Controversy over Thai ‘Angkor Wat Copy’ | Khmer Times, 06 July 2021
- UPDATE: Cambodian Government investigates controversial ‘Thai Angkor copy’ | Khmer Times, 06 July 2021
- Culture ministry looks into Thai replica of Angkor Wat | Phnom Penh Post, 06 July 2021