1.         Angkor (Cambodia) (C 668)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1992-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 113,595
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

September 1997: legal expert mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: The Committee expressed the wish for closer co-ordination between the World Heritage Centre and the Division of Cultural Heritage, and insisted upon the need to be kept informed of the operational activities undertaken at the site in the framework of international assistance and to continue to be vigilant with regard to the prevention of illicit traffic of cultural properties from Angkor.

New information: The technical session of the International Co-ordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Area of Angkor (CIC), of which UNESCO provides the Secretariat, met on 14 and 15 September 1998. The three ad hoc experts carried out their evaluation mission on proposed projects and projects being implemented in the framework of the CIC. In addition to the recommendation to establish a risk chart for Angkor, the experts provided technical advice regarding the projects in general. The plenary session of the CIC is foreseen for 21 June 1999 at Phnom Penh.

The third colloquium on the Bayon Temple, organized by the JSA Japanese team with support UNESCO support, was held on 18 and 19 December 1998. The sixty participants who attended the session, continued discussions, begun in 1997, on the safeguard and restoration of the Bayon Temple. In the framework of the preparation of a Master Plan, they examined the future function of the monument and the technical aspects of repair methodology for the architectural structure.

At the request of the Cambodian authorities, the Cultural Heritage Division of UNESCO contributed towards the formulation of a request for submission to the authorities of the United States of America to restrict the importation of cultural properties to this country from Cambodia, in application of the 1970 Convention on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Properties.

The activity reports prepared each year by the International Co-ordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Area of Angkor (CIC) are available to the World Heritage Committee.

Action Required

After having examined the state of conservation report of the site, the Bureau congratulates the Royal Government of Cambodia and encourages it to strengthen the actions of the Authority for the Protection of the site and the Development of the Region of Angkor (APSARA) in order to ensure proper control of work and regular maintenance and protection of the site against looting and illicit traffic in cultural properties. The Bureau requests the State Party to submit a report on further actions taken by 15 September 1999 for examination by the Committee at its twenty-third session.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

International Assistance : Preparatory assistance : 1992 US$ 15,000 : Preparation of the Tentative List and nomination file for Angkor. Emergency assistance : 1993 US$ 20,000 : Installation of an alarm system at Angkor. 1994 US$ 50,000 : Consolidation of the Pre Rup Temple. 1998 US$ 28,595 : Hydrogeological studies on the trenches of Angkor financed in the framework of emergency assistance financed by the World heritage Bureau in June 1998, were delayed due to a change of direction of APSARA (Authority for the Protection of the Site and Development of the Region of Angkor). These studies are now the responsibility of the APSARA Authority. Training assistance : 1992 US$ 10,000 : Training seminar.

Summary of previous deliberations :

Twenty-second session of the Committee (paragraph number VII.16) Twenty-third session of the Bureau (paragraph number IV.12) See also: Information Document WHC-99/CONF.204/INF.13

New information: The plenary session of the International Co-ordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Area of Angkor (ICC), for which UNESCO provides the Secretariat, met on 22 June 1999. The main outcome and decisions of the CIC are set out hereunder :

1.                  Administrative reorganization of the APSARA

-By royal edicts of 22 January 1999, the APSARA Authority now has the status of a public administration headed by a President Director-General in the person of H.E. Vann Molyvann and two deputy directors-general. In accordance with its role as responsible for the development and management of Siem Reap/Angkor, ASPARA will decide upon the specifications for a large number of projects.

-The Royal Government of Cambodia informed the CIC of its decision to grant to a private company the collection of entry fees to Angkor Park for a five-year period, and to allocate in 1999 a budget of US$ 800,000 to the Authority for the Protection of the Site and Developemnt of the Region of Angkor (ASPARA). This budget will be increased by 15% each year.

-           ASPARA now comprises five departments : central administration, accounts agency and three technical departments : the Directorate for Culture and Monuments, the Directorate for Tourist Development of Angkor and the Directorate for Urban Development. This administrative restructuration involves the recruitment of about ten qualified persons, including archaeologists and architects (three for Phnom Penh and seven for Siem Reap).

2.                  Action plan and the implementation of activities of ASPARA

-In the framework of the programme of the Directorate for Culture and Monuments, a specific management project for Angkor Wat is being implemented as a pilot project since 1 July 1999 with the goal of establishing the conservation of Angkor Wat. This project comprises an increased protection of the Temple, in a first stage, through the recruitment of eighteen guards, information and the involvement of local populations and a pedagogical action in the form of posters and publications for Khmers and foreign visitors. The ASPARA participates technically and financially in the project for the restoration of the access road west of Angkor Wat and for the entrance portal of the central part that is on the verge of collapse.

In partnership with the University of Sophia and the Nara Institute (Japan), the APSARA continues the archaeological excavations of the ancient ovens at the village of Tani, the methodology and scientific results of which are innovative at Angkor. Furthermore, the ASPARA is working on a project for the enhancement of the little Temple of Prasat Top and is associated with a prehistory research project at the University of Otago (New Zealand) on the so-called “round” villages of the Nourth-west region of Angkor Park. The ASPARA is funding project activities for the maintenance of the roads and the areas surrounding the monuments of Angkor Park, launched by the ILO in 1991;

-For urban and tourist development, the ASPARA has presented its activities for the promotion of the site of Angkor and its action plan for the development of the first part (60 ha) of the hotel city, aimed at attracting several high class hotels, to the CIC.

3.                  Training: The ASPARA and the CIC have decided to develop a national training strategy in the field of heritage conservation, and to launch, in October 1999, thanks to funding by the Japanese Government and in close co­operation with ICCROM and SPAFA, the first technical training field project for future Cambodian heritage specialists. A preparatory technical meeting was organized in Bangkom from 31 August to 2 September 1999.

4.                  Illicit traffic: The CIC was informed that the dossier requesting the restriction of the importation into the United States of America of Cambodian cultural heritage, prepared at the request of the Cambodian authorities by the Division of Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, was submitted to the American authorities in May 1999. With regard to the protection of the site of Angkor, ASPARA is providing financial support to the special Commissariat of Heritage Police. The CIC has also taken note of the creation by the Cambodian authorities of an Interministerial Committee composed of the ASPARA and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, which is responsible for taking the necessary measures to ensure the protection of the Banteay Chmar Temple, subject of a vast looting operation in November 1998. In this framework, the restitution to the Royal Government of Cambodia of objects that were seized by the Thai authorities was evoked with those authorities. The creation of a Police Unit with the provincial authorities is also foreseen to guard the temple and to work on the documentation of the site of Banteay Chmar, which is already listed on the Tentative List for eventual inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

5.                  International Centre for Scientific and Technical Documentation on Angkor (CID):
 The CIC was informed of the opening of the CID, and the intention that it becomes the reference and documentation centre and the memory of the international safeguarding and development programme for Angkor. The CIC invited all the teams to provide a copy of their documentation of the work site to this Centre.

6.                  New project proposals: The meeting of the CIC also provided an opportunity
to examine several proposals for new projects, that bear witness to the vitality of the international safeguarding programme of the site of Angkor which, for example, includes the restoration project of Chau Say Tevoda by the Chinese Government, the preparation of a risk preparedness map for which funding is being seeked, the strong participation of the population in Angkor Park. Amonst the projects accepted is the renewal for six years of projects carried out by the Japanese Team for Safeguarding Angkor (JSA). A rehabilitation project for the Route Nationale 6, is being constructed thanks to joint funding from The World Bank and the Asia Development Bank, and includes the safeguarding of ten historic bridges.

The next Technical Committee of the CIC will be held on 17 and 18 December 1999, at Siem Reap. The members of the ad hoc group of experts of the CIC will go on mission to Angkor from 12 to 19 December to examine the ongoing projects, and to participate in the meeting of the Technical Committee as well as the Fourth Symposium on Bayon.

The Fourth Symposium on the Safeguarding of Bayon, organized by the Japanese JSA team with UNESCO support, will be held on the 13 and 14 December 1999 in Siem Reap.

A copy in English and French of the annual activity reports prepared by the International Co-ordination Committee for the Safeguard and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (CIC) have been transmitted to the World Heritage Committee.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 23 BUR IV.A.12

The Bureau, having examined the state of conservation report of the site and upon considering the additional information provided by the Director of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and members of the Bureau, commended the exemplary work being carried out by the Authority for the Protection of the Site and Development of the Region of Angkor (APSARA) and the International Co-ordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Area of Angkor (ICC). 

The Bureau noted that some one hundred on-going projects are being implemented by more than a dozen countries and agencies, including large scale infrastructural projects such as road and bridge constructions, airport extension and public utilities upgrading of The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and other bilateral and multilateral financial and development co-operation agencies, as well as privately-funded projects, notably for the construction of tourism facilities.  To ensure that such works, necessary for the socio-economic welfare of the population, do not undermine the World Heritage values of the site, the Bureau requested the strengthening of international co-ordination efforts by APSARA and ICC to review all public and private works affecting the site in addition to the monumental conservation projects.  Recalling paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, the Bureau invited the State Party to inform the Committee, through the Secretariat, of major restorations or new constructions which they intend to undertake or to authorize which may affect the World Heritage values of the site, before the drafting of basic documents of the specific projects and before granting authorization.

As a management tool to record and monitor the various development works, the Delegate of Hungary stressed the need to update the Geographical Information System (GIS) of Angkor developed in 1993, and to make this consolidated data available to all concerned parties.

Concerning the conservation projects, the Bureau, while expressing its appreciation for the high quality of the standards applied in the on-going projects, stressed the necessity to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills to the national and local experts through training.  In this regard, ICCROM, recognized by the Committee as the principal partner for training in cultural heritage conservation, reiterated its readiness to evaluate the training aspects of the on-going projects and to improve, as appropriate, the effectiveness of such endeavours.

The Bureau, furthermore expressed its deep concern over the alarming reports on the continued looting and illicit traffic of cultural properties in Angkor and other cultural sites on the Tentative List of Cambodia. Referring to the report presented by the Secretariat on this matter and stating that although his country is not yet a signatory to the 1970 Convention, the Observer of Thailand expressed his satisfaction with the measures taken by the Thai authorities, following the seizure by the Thai police of more than one hundred objects from a temple in Cambodia. Recalling the request of the Committee at its twenty-first session for the recording and documentation of these sites, the Bureau called upon the Secretariat to strengthen support to the State Party in this regard. The Bureau also urged the State Party to take further action to enhance the protection of the site against looting and the national frontiers against illicit export of cultural properties and requested the signatories of the 1970 Convention to take all measures possible to prevent the importation and sales of Khmer cultural objects of uncertain provenance.

The Bureau requested the State Party to prepare an updated state of conservation report with the support of the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh and the Division of Cultural Heritage of UNESCO of the actions being undertaken in addressing the concerns expressed above. The Bureau invited the Chairperson of the Committee to write to the Co-chairpersons of the ICC requesting them to also assist the State Party in the preparation of this report.  This report should include information concerning the on-going and planned major public and private works in the region of Angkor, as well as the status of measures being undertaken at the national and local levels to control looting and illicit traffic of cultural properties from Angkor and other sites on the Tentative List of Cambodia. The Bureau requested that this report be provided to the Secretariat by 15 September 1999 for examination by the Committee at its twenty-third session.

Decision Adopted: 23 COM X.A.15

X.15 Angkor (Cambodia)

The Secretariat reported on the results of the International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Area of Angkor (ICC) which convened its plenary session in June 1999. The Committee's attention was drawn to the decision taken by the Royal Government of Cambodia to grant to a private company the collection of entry fees to Angkor Park for a five-year period, and the allocation in 1999 of US$ 800,000 by this company to the Authority for the Protection of the Site and Development of the Region of Angkor (ASPARA) for conservation activities. The Committee noted the report submitted by the State Party on the reorganization of APSARA and that some one hundred projects are being implemented by more than a dozen countries and agencies, including large-scale infrastructural projects such as road and bridge constructions, airport extension and public utilities upgrading of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other bilateral and multilateral financial and development co-operation agencies, as well as privately-funded projects, notably for the construction of tourism facilities. To ensure that such works, necessary for the socioeconomic welfare of the population, do not undermine the World Heritage value of the site, the Committee requested the strengthening of international co-ordination efforts by APSARA and the ICC to review all public and private works affecting the site in addition to the monumental conservation projects. Recalling paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World heritage Convention, the State Party was invited to inform the Committee through the Secretariat, of major restorations or new constructions which they intend to undertake or to authorize which may affect the World Heritage values of the site, before the drafting of basic documents of the specific projects and before granting authorization.

As a management tool to record and monitor the various development works, the updating of the Geographical Information System (GIS) of Angkor developed in 1993, and to make this consolidated data available to all concerned parties was proposed.

Concerning the conservation projects, the Committee, while expressing appreciation for the high quality of the standards applied in the on-going projects, stressed the necessity to ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills to the national and local experts through training. In this regard, ICCROM, recognized by the Committee as the principal partner for training in cultural heritage conservation, reiterated its readiness to evaluate the training aspects of the on-going projects and to improve, as appropriate, the effectiveness of such endeavours. The Committee furthermore expressed its deep concern over the alarming reports on the continued looting and illicit traffic of cultural properties in Angkor and other cultural sites on the Tentative list of Cambodia. The Committee urged the State Party to take further action to enhance the protection of the site against looting and the national frontiers against illicit export of cultural properties and requested the signatories of the 1970 Convention to take all measures possible to prevent the importation and sales of Khmer cultural objects of uncertain provenance.

The Observer of Indonesia informed the Committee of his Government's assistance to the State Party to enhance the technical capacity of the conservation laboratories in Angkor through training activities.

The Observer of Japan, expressing his Government's wish to continue to co-chair the ICC alongside the Government of France, informed the Committee of the commitment of the Japanese Government to continue providing financial assistance to Angkor.

The Observer of the United States of America informing the Committee of its recent accession to the 1970 Convention, stated its commitment to strengthen measures restricting the importation into the United States of Cambodian cultural heritage.

The Committee adopted the following decision:

The Committee decided to retain this property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee, after having examined the report on the state of conservation of the site, congratulated the Royal Government of Cambodia for the significant progress made in the funding and reorganization of the Authority for the Protection of the Site and Development of the Region of Angkor (ASPARA). The Committee encouraged the ASPARA to strengthen its action in the field of training so as to ensure control over the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the monuments and the protection of the site against looting and illicit traffic of cultural objects. It invited ASPARA and the ICC to monitor closely the rapid development of the activities and collections of the International Centre for Scientific and Technical Documentation for Angkor, which should in due course house all the documentation produced by the safeguarding and development projects of the site. The Committee requested the State Party to prepare an updated state of conservation report with support of the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh and the Division of Cultural Heritage of UNESCO of the actions being undertaken in addressing the concerns expressed above. The Committee invited the Chairperson of the Committee to write to the Co-Chairpersons of the ICC requesting them to assist the State Party in the preparation of this report. This report should include information concerning the on-going and planned major public and private works in the region of Angkor, as well as the status of measures being undertaken at the national and local levels to control looting and illicit traffic of cultural properties from Angkor and other sites on the Tentative List of Cambodia. The Committee requested that this report be provided to the Secretariat by 15 April 2000 for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session.