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Experts' Angkor Wat contributions recognized

By WANG KAIHAO | China Daily | Updated: 2018-12-06 09:20

The Cambodian government awarded honorary medals to three Chinese cultural heritage conservators in Siem Reap on Tuesday for their outstanding contributions to the protection of Angkor Wat.

The three conservators from the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage in Beijing-Xu Yan, Wang Yuanlin and Gu Jun-were leading experts in the China-led renovation of Ta Keo, a 46,000 square meter temple dating back to the 10th century in Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Siem Reap.

The renovation began in 2010 and was completed earlier this year.

The medals were bestowed by Phoeurng Sackona, Cambodia's minister of culture and fine arts, during a two-day conference of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor) that ended in Siem Reap on Wednesday.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the international framework to save the heritage at Angkor Wat. When the site received World Heritage status in 1992, it was labeled "in danger" by UNESCO due to years of neglect and the impact of warfare.

More than 500 delegates from countries including China, France, Japan, Germany, the United States and India, and international organizations attended the conference in Siem Reap to share their experiences of conservation work at the site.

In a speech on Tuesday, Hun Sen, Cambodia's prime minister, told those in attendance that the international effort had greatly improved the protection of heritage, tourism and locals' livelihoods.

From 1998 to 2008, China renovated Chau Say Tevoda, a 1,600 sq m temple in Angkor Wat, in the nation's first project under the ICCAngkor framework.

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