The Ministry of Culture is building a $1.6 million performing arts and administrative complex with help from the Japanese government, Minister of Culture Nouth Narang said.
In a recent interview, he also said the ministry plans to sell all 10 of its current properties.
The new complex, to be located south of the Interior Ministry on Norodom Boulevard, will have a central administrative building, a 200-seat rehearsal hall, and enough space to house the ministry’s staff of 300.
The site was purchased in an exchange agreement with the Japanese government.
“We have an area of land which we’ve given to Japan to construct an embassy, and in exchange, they’ve bought a plot of land for us,” Nouth Narang said.
The complex could be finished by the end of the year, he said.
The Ministry of Culture possesses several historic buildings including the Bassac Theater and a dilapidated cinema on Norodom Boulevard. Nouth Narang said he would like to renovate all of those buildings, but the ministry lacks the funds.
For example, Nouth Narang said, he has looked for a partner to turn the ministry’s Monivong Boulevard headquarters into a public library.
But no partner has been found and the ministry has already been approached by several investors about the site.