Chinese theme park risks offending Cambodians with Angkor Wat replica

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via SEA GLobe, 19 Sep 2018: SEA Globe reports some perspectives from Cambodians about the Angkor Wat replica in China that was previously reported – I called it a ‘Disneyland’ in the previous post.

A Chinese replica of Angkor Wat, built for the annual China-Asean exposition, has attracted the ire of many Cambodians who feel it offends their heritage

Source: Chinese theme park risks offending Cambodians with Angkor Wat replica

A ‘Disneyland’ version of Angkor in China

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Replica Angkor Wat in Nanning City, Guanxi, China. Source: CNN, 13 Sept 2018

via Cambodia News, 13 September 2018: Angkor What? A new tourist attraction in Nanning City in Guangxi, China, contains replicas of the famous architecture of Angkor. The news article below doesn’t make it clear, but is seems that this is part of an ASEAN theme park featuring replicas of other famous locations in Southeast Asia. I wonder what the reactions from Cambodia are. For context, a group in India had announced in 2015 that they were going to build a Hindu temple in Bihar in the style of Angkor Wat (see also here). This idea was not well-received in Cambodia (see also here, here, here, here and here).

Replica Angkor Wat in Nanning City, Guanxi, China. Source: Cambodia News English, 13 Sept 2018

Replica Angkor Wat in Nanning City, Guanxi, China. Source: Cambodia News English, 13 Sept 2018

Nanning, in Guangxi Province,China now has a new attraction; an Angkor Wat complex. Visitors can’t tell whether they are in Cambodia or Nanning.

In Nanning City, Guangxi, a paradise is known as the Cambodian and Chinese cottage version of the “Angkor Wat” complex. The imitation is fascinating, and the tourists are said to be unclear in Cambodia or Nanning.

Source: Angkor What? Faux Temple Complex Opens in China

Thai Military builds Preah Vihear replica; quickly demolished soon after

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A local Thai military commander builds a small replica of Preah Vihear near the original temple in the Thai side of the border in the hopes of boosting domestic tourism. But just as the attraction is set to open, the replica is shut down for fear of conflict with Cambodia. It’s been five years since hostilities ceased between the two countries over the World Heritage Site, and this episode shows how sensitive the issue remains in the region.

Military builds Preah Vihear temple replica
Bangkok Post, 25 April 2016

Khao Phra Viharn’s replica at Pha More E-daeng will open to public in May
Thai PBS, 27 April 2016

Phrea Vihear temple replica opening put on hold
Thai PBS, 09 May 2016

Commander moved, temple replica to be demolished
Thai PBS, 10 May 2016

Construction of the temple replica built at the cost of five million baht finished just a few weeks ago and open to public for visits briefly before it was ordered shut down by the Army chief.

The temple replica was said to promote tourism to Mor E-Daeng cliff after the original Preah Vihear temple is not yet open to visitors by Cambodia.

The cliff is about 700 metres from the Hindhu temple in Cambodia.

Matichon said Gen Teerachai also ordered the demolition of the temple replica as it might affect the current good relations of the two countries.

He also said the Foreign Ministry had earlier voiced disagreement to the construction of the temple replica.

Full story here.

Indian Angkor Wat temple copy suspended

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The duplicate Angkor Wat in India's Bihar state. Source: The Telegraph 20150914

Following a diplomatic protest by Cambodia lodged last year, India announced earlier this month that it has ordered the construction work of a replica Angkor Wat temple in Bihar to be suspended, and the plans re-drawn with suggestions from Cambodia.

The duplicate Angkor Wat in India's Bihar state. Source: The Telegraph 20150914

The duplicate Angkor Wat in India’s Bihar state. Source: The Telegraph 20150914

India Suspends Project for Construction of Angkor Wat Replica
VOA Khmer, 08 September 2015

India Gives up Angkor Wat Replica: Cambodian Spokesman
Khmer Times, 08 September 2015

India stops Angkor Wat replica after Cambodia protests
Global Construction Review, 09 September 2015

Row over Angkor replica ends
TTR Weekly, 11 September 2015

Cambodian officials invited to suggest changes to Angkor Wat ‘replica’
Can-India News, 14 September 2015

Diplomacy axe on Bihar Angkor copy – Centre acts on Ansari visit-eve
The Telegraph, 14 September 2015

Wat copy climbdown
The Telegraph, 14 September 2015

The Narendra Modi government has convinced a private trust in Nitish Kumar-ruled Bihar to drop plans to build a giant temple similar to the iconic Angkor Wat in Cambodia, defusing simmering diplomatic tension just ahead of a visit by Vice-President Hamid Ansari to the Southeast Asian nation.

Cambodia had asked India to stop the construction of the temple a little over 100km from Patna that Phnom Penh alleges is a “copy” of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

“We are facilitating a visit by a team of Cambodian experts to the site in Bihar, so they can examine the proposed temple and suggest the changes needed to avoid any similarity with Angkor Wat,” Anil Wadhwa, secretary (east) in the foreign office, said today. “The private trust building the temple has agreed to make any changes the Cambodian team suggests.”

Ansari departs tomorrow on a two-nation tour of Cambodia and Laos. In Cambodia, he will visit the Angkor Wat and the Ta Prohm temples – which India is helping restore.

Full story here.

Tussle for ‘replica’ Angkor Wat rages on

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Cambodia continue to pursue diplomatic channels to prevent the construction of a Hindu temple in India’s Bihar province for its similarities to Angkor Wat. The Mahavir Mandir Trust, who is in charge of the temple’s construction argues that the request is moot since the temple is not an exact replica.


India urged to stop Angkor Wat ‘replica’ plan
New Kerala, 11 August 2015

Cambodia rakes up Angkor Wat replica issue with India
Business Standard, 11 August 2015

India Urged Again To Halt Angkor Wat Replica
Khmer Times, 11 August 2015

Kesariya temple not a replica of Angkor Wat
The Times of India, 11 August 2015

Request to Stop Indian Temple Moot as Not Angkor Wat Copy
Cambodia Daily, 12 august 2015

Temple ‘will not be Angkorian’
Phnom Penh Post, 12 August 2015

Temple in Bihar not ‘exact replica’ of Angkor Wat
IANS, via Web India, 14 August 2015

Categories: Angkor Cambodia


Replica Angkor Wat temple construction delayed following official protest

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The construction of a Hindu temple in Bihar, India modeled after Angkor Wat, has been halted after official protest from the Cambodian government.

Cambodia-2638 - Mighty Angkor Wat

Cambodia’s protest hinders Virat Ramayan Mandir construction in Bihar
IANS, via India Today, 03 July 2015

Work stymied on India’s ‘imitation’ Angkor Wat
Phnom Penh Post, 04 July 2015

The Cambodian government protested in June that the temple, proposed to be built at Janki Nagar near Kesaria in East Champaran district that is about 150 km from Patna, was a “replica” of world famous 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia.

Angkor Wat was built during the rule of King Suryavarman II and is now a Unesco World Heritage site.

“The temple’s construction was to commence in June, but has since been delayed following the Cambodia government’s protest to the government of India,” said Acharya Kishore Kunal, secretary of Patna-based Mahavir Mandir Trust, which will take up the ambitious Rs.500-crore project.

Full stories here and here.

Cambodia protests against replica temple in India

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Cambodia raises an official complaint to India over the construction of a temple in Bihar, which is modeled after Angkor Wat and designed to be larger than in. The basis for the Cambodian protest is that Angkor Wat is a symbol of the country itself (it is on the flag after all), and the replica temple will diminish that status – and also draw away tourist dollars.

Angkor ‘copy’ raises ire
Phnom Penh Post, 08 June 2015

Cambodia lodges protest with India over Angkor Wat replica
Hindustan Times, 07 June 2015

Cambodia lodges protest with India over Angkor Wat replica
IBN Live, 07 June 2015

Angkor ‘replica’ plan angers Cambodia
Bangkok Post, 06 June 2015

Cambodia protests India’s plan to build replica of iconic Angkor Wat Temple
Xinhua, 06 June 2015

Angkor Wat Is No. 1 Landmark, But Indian Copy Inspires Fear
Cambodia Daily, 05 June 2015

Cambodian Government worried about Bihar’s Viraat Ramayana Temple
Bihar Prabha, 04 June 2015

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken its concerns over a large-scale “copy” of Angkor Wat to be built in Bihar, India – first mooted to a firestorm of controversy in 2012 – directly to the Indian government, asking it to intervene and put a halt to the project.

In a letter sent Saturday to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the government appealed to India to act in order to maintain “historical” diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia considers that this copy of Angkor Wat temple [built] for commercial benefit seriously violates [its] world heritage, which is a universal and exceptional value of humanity,” the letter states.

It continued: “[The Cambodian government] strongly requests that India’s Ministry of External Affairs … reconsiders the planned construction of the Angkor Wat replica in order to preserve the traditional historic relations between the two countries and our people.”

Read the Phnom Penh Post story here.