Cambodia, UNESCO sign agreement to continue safeguarding Angkor Wat Temple   Date:2012-09-07

The Government of Cambodia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday signed an agreement on safeguarding of the Angkor Wat Temple, one of the World Heritage sites.

The deal was inked between Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, and Anne Lemaistre, UNESCO Representative to Cambodia.

The two-year phase II project will be focused on the restoration of an extension span of the moat embankment at the Angkor Wat Temple, said Rome University's Professor Valter Maria Santoro, head of the Italian technical mission for stone consolidation in the temple.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Sok An said that the second phase project will cost 250,000 U.S. dollars including 200, 000 U.S. dollars granted by Italian government and 50,000 U.S. dollars by Cambodian government.

He said that Italian government, through UNESCO, has involved in helping safeguard the Angkor Wat Temple since 1994.

"The continuous support signifies a further cooperation among Cambodia, UNESCO and Italy," he said.

Sok An said currently, Cambodia has been collaborating with 14 countries and 28 international teams in implementing over 60 different projects to preserve, safeguard and develop the temple.

Anne Lemaistre said, "UNESCO is proud to help Cambodia in the preservation and conservation of the World Heritage site of Angkor. "

Angkor archeological park was inscribed in the World Heritage list on Dec. 14, 1992.

It is the country's largest cultural tourism destination; it is located in Siem Reap province, some 315 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

The site had attracted 1.06 million foreign tourists in the first six months of this year, up 35 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the latest figures from the Tourism Ministry.