Cambodia to Host Talks On Protecting Heritage

Cambodia will this week host a regional seminar on the Unesco convention for the protection of cultural heritage during armed conflicts.

Held in cooperation with Unesco and the International Red Cross, the three-day event, which begins today, will take place in Siem Reap City and Preah Vihear province, near the country’s World Heritage sites of Angkor and Preah Vihear temple.

Cambodia is one of only three Asean countries to have signed Unesco’s 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, according to Anne Lemaistre, Unesco’s representative to Cambodia.

In 2013, Cambodia became the only Asean country to sign the convention’s Second Protocol, which reflects the latest developments in international law, she said.

The recent destruction and pilfering of heritage sites in Syria have highlighted the need to protect heritage during conflicts.

And the principle behind the 1954 convention covers more than just World Heritage sites, said Tan Theany, secretary-general of the National Commission for Unesco.

“Other cultural sites must also be protected because they are people’s soul and identity,” she said.

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