VII.25 Angkor (Cambodia)
The Secretariat reported on the efforts made by the Royal Government of Cambodia and progress made in the safeguarding activities of this site, including those co-ordinated by UNESCO and funded by France, Indonesia, Italy and Japan. The Secretariat reported that the safeguarding activities, which had been interrupted due to the unrest in the region of Angkor in July 1997, had recommenced and were progressing normally. The Delegate of Japan indicated that the second phase of the Japanese project for the safeguarding of Angkor would begin upon the completion of the first phase in November 1998.
With regard to the continuation of the looting of monuments and illegal traffic in cultural property in the region, the necessity to strengthen international support was emphasized. Although international support from UNESCO, ICOM and the media has resulted in many stolen objects being returned to Cambodia, international pressure is still necessary to dry up the market for stolen and looted cultural property. The Chairperson expressed the wish of the Committee for enforcement of existing legal instruments to strengthen the capacity of the Cambodian Local Authorities in their efforts to protect the cultural heritage of Angkor and in their fight against illicit traffic of cultural properties.
The Committee expressed its gratitude to the Cambodian Authorities, the International Co-ordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Area of Angkor, and UNESCO for their efforts deployed for the safeguarding of Angkor. In order to increase the international support to the site of Angkor, the Committee decided to maintain the site on the List of the World Heritage in Danger.