Coronavirus brings curtain down on Cambodia’s shadow puppet theatre

Cambodia’s shadow puppet tradition goes back to the 7th century and has survived the collapse of empires, wars and Khmer Rouge reign of terror that left about 1.7 million people dead.

In recent years, however, local interest in the art that was designated a Unesco intangible cultural heritage in 2005 has dwindled, with foreign tourists and funding becoming its main supporters.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic has dealt one theatre in Phnom Penh a new blow, bringing the curtain down on a troupe and its leader who has been performing in the capital for more than 26 years.

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