The 40-million-yuan Cooperation Aid project between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China will be used for renovation of Takeo Temple in Siem Reap province.
The Ground-Breaking Ceremony was held on 27 November 2010 and presided over by H.E. Dr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Minister and Chairman of the APSARA Authority along with H.E. Cai Wu, Chinese Minister of Culture.
H.E. Bun Narith, Director General of the APSARA Authority, said that upon the Royal Government’s request, the Government of China had decided to donate 40 million yuan for the project of renovation of Takeo Temple from 2011 to 2018.
He added that since the Temple of Angkor was listed on the World Heritage List on 14 December 1992, the safeguarding and development of the site of Angkor have been done by the Royal Government in cooperation with the International Coordinating Committee of the Historical Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor) in which representatives from more than 10 countries, including China have helped train Cambodian experts to conserve and renovate a number of temples in the Angkor area.
Mr. Tong Mingkang, Deputy Director General of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, said that the Chinese technical team had studied the renovation project of temples in the site of Angkor in 1998, and started renovation works on Chao Say Thevada Temple in 2000, costing 14 million yuan and concluded it in 2008 with excellent result.
H.E. Cai Wu considered the cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of China on the renovation project of Takeo Temple as a model of international cooperation in the field of preservation and conservation of world heritages. He highlighted that the Government of China had contributed to preserving and renovating Takeo Temple, which is the second phase of the project after it had contributed to preserving Angkor, a world heritage.
The Chinese Minister of Culture considered the financial contribution to renovate Takeo Temple as an opportunity to enhance mutual cooperation and further promote the traditional relationship between China and Cambodia.
H.E. Dr. Sok An expressed his sincere thanks to the Government of China for its contribution to the conservation of Cambodia’s as well as the humanity’s priceless cultural heritages. He elucidated that the ancient temples were magnificent heritages of the Khmer ancestors, representing the entire national Khmer soul, and were one of the resources for tourism and economic development. The current project clearly reflects the success of the Royal Government’s foreign policy in strengthening friendly relations with other countries as well as international organizations, in particular with China, in order to rehabilitate and develop the country after being seriously destroyed by internal war. H.E. Dr. Sok An said that China had supported many socio-economic projects in Cambodia, namely projects related to physical infrastructure and projects to renovate Chao Say Thevada Temple. Through previous successes and experiences, he believed that this repair work site on Takeo Temple would be the basic know-how for APSARA Authority in its future work in conservation and renovation projects of other temples in the Angkor area.