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New lighting to be installed at Angkor Wat by advise of UNESCO
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10:27, June 07, 2009

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UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) offered positive recommendation to ease the public concern over the installing of lighting at Angkor Wat, local media reported on Saturday.

Cambodian authorities installed new spotlights on the world famous tourism attraction - Angkor Wat to allow the temple to open more longer after sunset. The scheme includes the installation of lights near the ceiling of the northern gallery of the temple.

However, local press and opposition officials questioned the scheme and expressed their concern for the lights, claiming the light fixtures would cause damage to the centuries-old heritage in the long term.

After several days of increasing public arguing and attention, UNESCO gave a positive recommendation to the project recently on the condition that it (the project) is conducted in close cooperation with its International Coordinating Committee (ICC) for Angkor, the Chinese language newspaper Jian Hua Daily said.

The ICC, which advises government body the Apsara Authority on management of the World Heritage Site, advised the authority to limit illumination to the entrance way to the temple and its bas-relief gallery on the north side.

"We have to abide by the recommendation, but the decision is still from the Apsara Authority, as sovereignty from Cambodia," Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said, adding that the lighting project was still in a study phase.

This installation was monitored by the Apsara authority and UNESCO, according to the company who installed the lights, adding that the UN organization provided technical assistance.

UNESCO Country representative Teruo Jinnai denied that a test setup of the lights had damaged the temple. "There was no direct damage and all the holes were made a long time ago," he said. And the Apsara Authority said that only existing holes that once held wooden support beams were being used.

Source: Xinhua

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