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Cambodia: Preah Vihear National Authority Issues Temporary Ban on Visitors to Koh Ker Temple

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Rafia Tasleem
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A Time for National Celebration

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On September 29, 2023, the Koh Ker temple in Cambodia will close its doors to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This temporary closure, as announced by the National Authority of Preah Vihear, is not due to repairs or restoration but rather a cause for celebration. The reason for the temporary suspension of visits is to facilitate a national prayer ceremony honouring the Koh Ker temple resort's inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Cooperation for a Smooth Ceremony

The authorities have appealed for cooperation from all ministries, national and international institutions, tour operators, national and foreign tourists, and the general public. This request is intended to ensure the smooth execution of the ceremony and to accord it the respect it deserves.

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Koh Ker Temple: A Symbol of Cambodia's Cultural Heritage

The Koh Ker temple received its official recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on September 17, 2023, in a ceremony held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This addition to the World Heritage List marks an important milestone for Cambodia. The Koh Ker temple is now the country's fifth site to be granted this prestigious status.

(Read Also: UNDP Continues to Assist Cambodia’s Development)

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Cambodia's World Heritage Sites

Prior to the Koh Ker temple, Cambodia had four other sites listed as World Heritage Sites. These include the Angkor temple, which was registered in 1992, the Preah Vihear temple, registered in 2008, and Sambor Prei Kuk, registered in 2017. The recognition of these sites heightens the country's cultural and historical significance on a global scale, attracting tourists from around the world.

(Read Also: Cambodia: Sar Thet Directs the Department of Expertise to Conduct More Research, Fight Tax Evasion)

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Recognizing the Significance of the Ceremony

The temporary closure of the Koh Ker temple is a significant event, as it marks the celebration of a new addition to the country's collection of World Heritage Sites. Despite the inconvenience this may cause to tourists and the public, the closure signifies a national moment of pride and celebration. The authorities' request for cooperation from all parties underlines the importance of this event and the necessity for it to proceed without disruption.

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