Replica heritage

In early April there was a brief period of aggression after a Thai incursion onto Cambodian territory at the Preah Vihear complex. There were conflicting reports as to the number of causalities, but possibly four Thai soldiers were killed and ten were taken hostage. More recently, Phnom Penh is demanding a little over US$ 2 million in compensation for the conflict which has reportedly damaged several hundred homes and livelihoods. While the Thai Foreign Ministry is demanding that UNESCO go over the Preah Vihear site again in regards to what seems a procedural technicality.

The Thai government has now asked local authorities to do a feasibility study on making a replica complex close to the border for tourism purposes. The Cambodian secretary of state, Chuch Phoeun, stated that “It is impossible to replicate the temple without permission from the country that owns it” … “This is an intentional attempt by the Thais to stir up Cambodia because they are jealous of [us].”

Why would anyone want to visit a replica 11th century temple a couple of kilometers away from the real 11th century temple?

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About Martino Ray, Guest Contributor