North Korean Company Plans ‘E-Museum’ of Angkor Temples

The government last week ex­pres­sed support for plans by the North Korean construction company Man­sudae Overseas Projects to build a so-called “e-museum” near Siem Reap province’s Angkor Ar­chae­ological Park, a media report and officials said.

Official news agency Agence Kam­puchea Presse reported Fri­day that the plans were discussed at a meeting on Thursday between Cul­ture Ministry Secre­tary of State Khem Sarith and the director of the Man­sudae Overseas that was also attended by North Ko­rean Ambas­sa­dor Ri In Sok.

The e-museum will display digital simulations that will allow visitors to experience all of Angkor’s temples in 20 minutes, providing an over­view for visitors about to enter the actual park, according to AKP.

Siem Reap provincial Governor Sou Phirin said yesterday he was aware of the plans to build an e-museum but had no details about the project.

North Korean Embassy First Secretary Su Yong said yesterday “we have an agreement on museum building,” but he conceded that “more discussion” was needed on details such as cost and timing.

Complaints about a lack of transparency have followed Mansudae Overseas for the past decade as it has constructed major monuments across Africa.

Recently, Mansudae Overseas made international headlines when its grandest project to date, the Monu­ment for the African Renais­sance, a 49-meter bronze statute of a man, woman and child emerging from a volcano, was unveiled in Se­negal amid accusations of financial impropriety.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade had personally intervened to en­sure the contract for Mansudae, ac­cording to The Christian Science Monitor.

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