UNESCO supports Cambodia in documenting its heritage

11 August 2017

Continuing a partnership that extends back to the 1990s, UNESCO recently organized a series of consultation meetings to support Cambodia in its efforts to document its cultural heritage, including it numerous museums, archaeological sites and the World Heritage properties of Angkor, Preah Vihear and Sambor Prei Kuk.

Organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, these meetings were held in Siem Reap and in Phnom Penh, notably at the National Museum of Cambodia from 27-28 July. This meeting gathered representatives from major museums and archaeological sites to evaluate the progress made since the last nationwide technical training, organized in 2009, and to identify persistent challenges and new issues.

During this meeting, H.E. Mr CHUCH Phoeurn, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Culture, remarked that the documentation of museum collections and archaeological artefacts is fundamental to heritage safeguarding, as well as to maximizing its potential for education and knowledge sharing.

The consultation meeting concluded that the remaining challenges to heritage documentation in Cambodia could be overcome through the continued technical support provided by the National Museum of Cambodia, as well as through the nationwide training to be organized for all public museums in Cambodia in November 2017.

Ms Nao HAYASHI, UNESCO’s Museums Programme Coordinator and moderator of the national consultation session, stated that the Cambodian initiative aligns with the 2015 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Protection and Promotion of Museums and Collections, their Diversity and their Role in Society. The Recommendation underlines the important roles museums play in society and invites Member States to comply with international standards regarding the documentation of natural and cultural heritage. The Recommendation’s mandatory implementation report is due in 2018.