Lost items of Cambodia returned to Angkor

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - An array of lost items in 245 of the 279 reported cases involving the Angkor Archaeological Park have been discovered and returned to their rightful owners, the 2018 report released by Apsara Authority – the body that oversees the operations of the park – said.

The report highlighted the authority’s achievements last year and included 205 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitations (CPR) performed on both national and international tourists, as well as its significant efforts in keeping and returning the lost items that were left behind during visits to the park.

The report also said that Apsara Authority staff had continuously reminded visitors of the code of conduct, such as instructions to wear appropriate attire, to keep their voices down, and the prohibition on giving candies to the animals and touching the sculptures and the wall carvings.

‘Fulfilling their obligations’

Speaking to The Post on Monday, Apsara Authority spokesperson Chao Sun Keriya gave credit to the officials who “participated in the conservation effort and valued the world heritage status of Angkor Archaeological Park” by “fulfilling their obligations”.

“The majority of foreign tourists who had lost their belongings and gotten them back praised us. Most of the missing items were discovered because our staff members, including 500 conservation officials, are not greedy. They didn’t claim the lost property as theirs,” she said.

Sun Keriya said the Apsara Authority remained committed to training its conservation officials with aims to protect the park and prevent unfavourable incidents from happening.

The authority, she continued, will install 118 stele-like stone labels identifying the various temples, in Khmer and English, in the park.

“We will place one or two [stone] labels at each of at least 50 temples. Some will have three depending on the number of gates that the temple has. If there are gates in all cardinal directions, we will put the labels at all gates,” Sun Keriya said.

She added that the move is intended to further promote the park and follows the recommendations of the ICC-Angkor committee.

Apsara Authority deputy director-general Sok Sangvar pointed out that not all structures in the park would be labelled, saying: “These stone plaques can’t be installed at all temples because some are located deep in the forest and there is no place for them.”

He said, in placing the stone labels, his team considers three factors. The plaques must be close to each entrance of the temple, easy to be spotted by visitors and must not obstruct the view of the temple itself.

“The achievement will elevate the experience of tourists visiting Angkor Archaeological Park. The labels will provide visitors with some helpful and clear information of the temples,” he said.

In its website, the Apsara Authority said the stone labels will display essential information related to the corresponding temple, such as its name, year or century of completion, where the entrance is, and four logos – including that of Apsara Authority and Unesco.