City Wants to Lower Ad Signs, Showcase Market’s Beauty

The city has ordered advertising billboards on Phsar Thmei be taken down because they ob­struct the view of the landmark’s yellow roof, Phnom Penh First Deputy Governor Chea Sophara said Tuesday.

“We must take down the ugly advertisements on top of the parking areas because they affect Phsar Thmei’s beauty,” Chea So­phara said.

The signs sit on top of blue metal roofs that cover parking areas for motorbikes.

The municipality rented out the signs exclusively to Cambo ad­vertising for $20,000 per year in one of just several money-making schemes. But in August, Chea Sophara decided the signs had to go after the company had been allowed a few months to earn some cash.

Half the boards carry Mild Seven tobacco ads; the rest are blank.

Chan Vutha, who was visiting Phsar Thmei on Thursday morning with his family, said he ap­proves of efforts to beautify the market.

“The signs are ugly,” Chan Vutha said.

The removal of the billboards is just one part of a facelift for the 1930s art-deco market.

The tin roof above the motorbike parking lot that encircles the market will be removed to create more space, Chea Sophara said Thursday.

A new lighting system is also planned to improve security and allow vendors to work at night.

Renovations should be completed by Khmer New Year in April, Chea Sophara said. He did not say how much the work would cost or who would foot the bill. He said most of the work would take place at night.

Several parking lot vendors said Thursday they were not pleased with the plan to remove the roof, which protects them from the sun.

While the signs will no longer obstruct the view of the market, they will not disappear. Cambo has agreed to lower the signs to within 1.5 meters of the ground, Chea Sophara said.

Cambo director Iv Chi Khun said the company is studying new designs and will begin construction next month.

He said he is not angry about the decision, even though the company has lost money on the deal.

“I also want to see the city look nice because I am Khmer,” Iv Chi Khun said. “I hope that the new parking plan will look better.”

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