The Apsara Authority yesterday clarified that a construction site behind the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province was not a new tall building, but scaffolding to repair one of the temple’s towers.
The clarification by Apsara Authority, the government body that manages Angkor Archaeological Park, came after a Facebook post by “Khmer Leaking News” went viral this week.
Pictures on the page showed the alleged new building looming amid the towers of Angkor Wat.
“Due to the unique construction of the Angkor complex, the temple’s beauty is lost and it’s no longer interesting. If it’s no longer beautiful, who will visit Angkor?” the post said.
Long Kosal, a spokesman for Apsara Authority, said many people had shared the Facebook post and criticised Apsara for allowing the construction of a tall building behind the famous temple.
He said the area in question was not the construction site of a new building, but scaffolding around one of the temple’s towers that needed restoration.
“We prepared the scaffolding a little bit high to prevent rain from coming into the site. They took photos and posted it publicly but didn’t ask authorities what it was,” he said, adding the post was wrong and misled the public.
He said Apsara Authority never allowed any new buildings around Angkor Wat, adding small illegal buildings that popped up were also ordered removed.
“Apsara is always cracking down on illegal construction sites that have been built disorderly around the Angkor complex, so please don’t create information for political benefit,” he said. Mr Kosal added that people must know about something clearly before they post it publicly.
“It makes everyone confused when they post the wrong information,” he said.
According to the Apsara Authority, illegal homes in more than 600 places were removed in Angkor Archaeological Park’s zone 1 and 2 last year.