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Cambodia Plans Preah Vihear Museum

Cambodia plans to build a museum near the 11th-Century Preah Vihear temple, which has been designated as a Unesco World Heritage site and is at the center of a border conflict with Thailand.

Sous Yara, undersecretary of state for the Cabinet of Ministers, told VOA Khmer Tuesday that the purpose of the museum was to retain Cambodia’s cultural heritage.

“All Cambodians and foreigners can research and study at the museum,” he said, adding that the site would also attract tourists.

The museum, which will be named in honor of Prime Minister Hun Sen, will be located at Chom Ksan, in Preah Vihear province, on 9.5 hectares of land about 20 kilometers from the temple and will be built with money from donors, which must be done step by step, he said.

The Cambodian Mine Action Committee, or CMAC, is now clearing the area of mines for construction of the facility, said Hang Soth, general director of the Preah Vihear national authority.

The land encircling the temple is hoped to become a belt of development, but in the meantime, around 700 families living in the area will have to be moved farther from the temple and its surroundings.