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 https://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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Tourism Pressure; Lack of management mechanism (including legislation); Lack of presentation and interpretation; Looting/Theft.

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report to the World Heritage Centre, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session.

 The Government of France organized, with the assistance of the Division of Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, the Second Intergovernmental Conference on the Safeguarding and Development of Angkor (Paris, France, 14-15 November 2003). The main objectives of this conference were: (a) to assess the past decade’s actions mainly dedicated to emergency safeguarding of the site; and (b) to launch a new decade of international assistance focused on sustainable development, in conformity with the priority of the Government of Cambodia.

The Technical Session of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and the Development of Angkor (ICC/Angkor), held in Siem Reap on 9 and 10 February 2004, reflected both safeguarding and sustainable development concerns, and gathered together new partners, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank. This ICC Session also involved for the first time the APSARA Authority (Autorité pour la Préservation du site et l’Aménagement de la Région d’Angkor) in the organization of the meeting.

 The State Party submitted a report to the Secretariat in January 2004. The report recapitulates the five conditions defined in 1992 as prerequisites for the property to be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 From a World Heritage property in Danger, the site of Angkor has evolved into a World Heritage property in development. This has been recognised in the great efforts and corrective measures taken by the national authorities, especially since the establishment of the APSARA Authority in 1995, and in addressing the following challenges:

a)   De-mining, on-site looting, and vandalism:

  The de-mining of the site has now been completed. The measures adopted by the Government of Cambodia to halt on-site looting and theft of cultural heritage have resulted in a drastic decrease of theft and smuggling of cultural artefacts from within the World Heritage property. The pressure of illegal trafficking of cultural artefacts is now gradually shifting to archaeological sites outside of Angkor.

b)  State of conservation:

  Although the monuments and temples are in various states of conservation, the overall state of conservation of Angkor as a while has dramatically improved in the last 12 years. A dozen international teams are currently working on conservation and restoration projects on-site, in close collaboration with the APSARA Authority.

c)   Administrative and legislative arrangements:

  Cambodia benefits from an adequate legislation in terms of heritage management and protection, which is not however implemented to its full extent at the site-level. Since 1999, the APSARA Authority has acquired a greater financial sustainability and autonomy. The APSARA budget for 2002 totalled US$4,021,745.81, mainly from entrance fees to the Angkor Archaeological Park.

d)   Training of personnel:

  Training of the staff responsible for the different aspects of the management of Angkor (maintenance, restoration, administrative and financial management, tourism, etc.) is a major component in the success of APSARA over the years. The graduates of the Faculties of Archaeology and Architecture of the Royal University of Fine Arts have regularly been hired to assist in the preservation of the property.

  A project entitled “Training of APSARA cultural mediators”, conceived by UNESCO and APSARA in close co-operation with the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, to face rapid social changes and to benefit from the tourist industry, was successfully organized in September 2003. This capacity-building project, financed by the UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust Agreement, is an integrated component of the global strategy for the strengthening of Cambodian cultural institutions.

e)   Tourism Development:

  During the Second Intergovernmental Conference on the Safeguarding and Development of Angkor, the parties involved insisted on the need for concerted tourism development and management of the Angkor Archaeological Park. A series of projects have been presented, ranging from the respect of authenticity in new constructions to the development of tourist circuits and the regulation of visitor flows on and off-site. 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15A.23

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Notes with satisfaction the extra-budgetary funded operational projects for the conservation or the restoration of the site of Angkor;

2. Congratulates the State Party, including the APSARA Authority for their dedication in the safeguarding of the World Heritage property, as well as multilateral donors, such as France, Japan, Italy and bilateral donors such as China, Hungary, India, Indonesia and Switzerland, the World Monuments Fund, and the private group ACCOR for their generous support;

3. Takes note of the remarkable improvement of the physical state of conservation of the property, as well as the results accomplished in the management and monitoring of the property by the APSARA Authority;

4. Requests the State Party to work closely with the World Heritage Centre, the Division of Cultural Heritage, ICOMOS and other partners to ensure the longterm conservation and management of the property;

5. Further requests the State Party to regularly report to the World Heritage Centre on progress with outstanding issues;

6. Strongly urges the State Party to elaborate a comprehensive Master Plan to address conservation issues, development control and tourism management in order to ensure the future preservation of the property;

7. Decides to remove the property of Angkor from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15C.3

28 COM 15C.3 The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List
of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-04/28.COM/15A Rev),
2. Decides to remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger: