Sambor Prey Kuk TempleTuesday, March 17, 2009
The Associated Press
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia: Cambodia will ask the United Nations to register four temples - one dating back some 1,400 years - as World Heritage Sites, a government official said Tuesday.Listings by UNESCO, the world body's cultural agency, normally get international assistance to preserve the sites, and inevitably attract a larger number of tourists.
Kum Polin, a senior official at the Ministry of Culture, said the highest priority will be given to the 7th century Sambor Prei Kuk temple, located at what was once the country's capital some 80 miles (128 kilometers) north of the current capital Phnom Penh.
A master plan for development and conservation of the temple is now being drawn up and the submission to UNESCO is expected within three years, he said.
The country will also nominate the Banteay Chhmar temple, built in the 12th and 13th centuries in northwestern Cambodia; the 13th century Nokor Bachey temple east of Phnom Penh; and Oudong, the country's capital in the 17th and 18th centuries, 27 miles (45 kilometers) north of Phnom Penh.
The ancient temples of Angkor, the country's top tourist attraction, were declared a World Heritage Site in 1992, while the 11th century Preah Vihear temple was added to the list last year.