via the US Embassy in Cambodia, 30 August 2023: The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh and Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts extended a cultural cooperation agreement to preserve Cambodia’s cultural heritage and combat artifact looting, marking 20 years of collaboration.
The extension of the MOU between the United States and the Royal Government of Cambodia, concerning “the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Categories of Archaeological and Ethnological Materials of Cambodia,” will reduce the pillaging of irreplaceable archaeological material from Cambodia and continue the exchange of archaeological and ethnological materials for cultural, educational, and scientific purposes to promote public appreciation of and access to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.
Over the past 20 years, this MOU has facilitated the return of over 100 priceless antiquities and built the capacity of Cambodians working on cultural heritage preservation.
At the ceremony, U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy also announced a $450,000 award through U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation to continue the restoration of the 9th century Phnom Bakheng temple.