Gov’t Seeks World Heritage Protection for Three Cities

The Cambodian government plans to formally request that Unesco give three of the country’s provincial capitals World Heritage protection, state news agency Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP) reported Friday.

The cities are the capitals of Battambang, Kampot and Kratie provinces, according to the AKP.

Battambang provincial governor Chan Sophal said Sunday that the main goal of the government’s request, as it related to his province’s capital, was to preserve the hundreds of French colonial buildings there.

“The aim of this listing is to first, preserve the buildings with the…artistic styles of the previous time; second, preserve the wealth of culture left by the old generations; and third, make our city famous,” he said.

Mr. Sophal said a team tasked with identifying buildings in need of protection was expected to finish its work by July.

Both Kampot provincial governor Khoy Khun Hour and Kratie provincial governor Sar Chamrong, however, said they knew nothing about the national government’s plan to request Unesco protection for their provincial capitals. Anne Lemaistre, Unesco’s country representative, could not be reached Sunday.

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