SIEM REAP, 3 July 2017: Apsara Authority’s actions to restrict illegal construction in the Angkor Archaeological Park has gained support from the UNESCO representative in Cambodia.
Khmer Times quoted UNESCO representative in Cambodia, Anne Lemaistre, saying she supported Apsara Authority’s moves to remove illegal buildings in zones 1 and 2 as it complied with the agreement between Cambodia and UNESCO.
“At the next ICC-Angkor meeting in December. We may hold a seminar on conservation protection, and I think that now we are really appreciating the process.”
There are 523 illegal construction sites or buildings in the Angkor Archaeological Park’s zone 1 and 2, such as at Siem Reap town near the Neang Pov Temple, Banteay Kdei Temple, Banteay Srey Temple and in Bakong district, the report said.
After discovering these illegal constructions, the Apsara Authority instructed the owners to voluntary remove the buildings. In cases where the owners failed to remove buildings, the authority said it would use administrative measures to demolish them in an effort to maintain the World Heritage status of the area.
The Angkor Archeological Park is the top tourist attraction in Cambodia, considerably ahead of the coastal resorts in and around Sihanoukville and ecotourism sites in the northeast part of the country.
Angkor Historical Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992 and is now the country’s largest cultural tourist destination. It is located in Siem Reap province, some 315 km northwest of capital Phnom Penh.
Last year, Angkor’s entrance ticket sales generated USD62.5 million and represented 2,197,254 foreign tourist visits.