Published on : Tuesday, June 13, 2017
In the month of May, ministers had asked UNESCO to categorize Battambang, Kratie and Kampot as the next heritage cities of the world. This was a part of efforts to protect the conventional and priceless Khmer and French-colonial architecture from obliteration.
The evaluation was conducted by the delegation as Cambodia is all geared up to organize the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and Unesco conference today and tomorrow.
Thong Khon, Tourism Minister explained that Battambang is the first of the three cities to be visited by UNESCO officials for the first time. To quote Mr Khon, ‘the tour is aimed at studying the heritage of the city based on its historical and cultural buildings. It is intended to help protect the city and provide us with recommendations to prepare Battambang as a Unesco world heritage site.’
He further added that heritage listings for Battambang, Kratie and Kampot will assist Cambodian tourism to expand. Mr Khon explained that more than 70 percent of the visitors love to explore historical and cultural sites, predominantly the country’s iconic Angkor Archaeological Park.
Prime Minister Hun Sen greeted the prospect of the Unesco listings. However, he highlighted the urgency for the preservation and development which must be carefully balanced whatsoever. To quote Mr Hun Sen, ‘as in many cities, old buildings are often state-owned. It is necessary to preserve and protect them, but we can’t keep the whole city from being developed. In Phnom Penh, hundreds of houses and building were kept for preservation, but those buildings were about to collapse and people were in need of new houses.’