The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts announced yesterday that officials are planning to restore damaged heritage sites such as temples and a bridge in several provinces after Khmer New Year.
A ministry official said the sites include the ancient bridge in Banteay Meanchey province, temples such as the Baset temple in Battambag province, Banteay Chhmar temple in Banteay Meanchey province, Preah Samdey temple in Tbong Khmum province and Bakan temple in Preah Vihear province.
“We will allocate a portion of the national budget and the Angkor Foundation fund to repair these temples and bridges,” said Prak Sonnara, directorate-general of heritage at the ministry. “We have also received extra budgeting from Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An.” Mr Sonnara noted that no money from the international fund will be used to renovate the sites.
“We have more than $250,000 for repairing temples and we have three more projects. We are going to need about $400,000,” he said.
Mr Sonnara said that the restoration will happen in stages as some temples are bigger than others and some are more damaged than others.
“Some of the temples that we are planning to repair will be complete in one year,” he said. “It’s because we are used to doing it, even though some will take longer than others.”
In addition, a police official said that they are ready to safeguard heritage sites all over Cambodia this Khmer New Year.
Korm Saroeun, deputy director of the heritage polcei protection department, said yesterday that his officials are ready and willing to cooperate with the Culture Ministry.
He said that protecting historic sites, especially Angkor Wat, during Khmer New Year is a priority.
“Our forces are ready to protect our temples and ancient cultural sites, especially Angkor Wat, where 300 officials will cooperate with the Apsara Authority and local authorities in order to keep visitors secure,” said Mr Saroeun.