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S.Korea to help renovate Cambodia's ruined temples


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PHNOM PENH, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- South Korea will for the first time help Cambodia renovate the Preah Pithou group of ruined temples in the complex of the Angkor Archeological Park, both sides said Friday.

The agreement on the preservation and renovation of the ruined temples was signed here between Baek Sook Hee, country director of the Korean International Cooperation Agency to Cambodia, and Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara National Authority, which is in charge of the protection and management of the Angkor Archaeological Park.

"The Republic of Korea is so proud that today we have stepped into preserving and renovating the world heritage site for the first time," Baek said after the signing ceremony. "We have confidence that our experts will be able to restore the Preah Pithou group of temples to its original form."

Bun Narith said since the 12th century Angkor Wat temple was inscribed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1992, a number of Asian countries, especially India, China, Japan, and Indonesia, have contributed to the preservation and renovation of temples in the area.

"Today is another historical event for Cambodia that South Korea shows its intention to support the preservation and renovation work of the Preah Pithou group of temples," he said, adding that the three-year project, starting from next year, will cost around 4 million U.S. dollars.

The Angkor Archaeological Park, the kingdom's largest tourist destination, is located about 315 km northwest of capital Phnom Penh.

The site attracted some 2.1 million foreign tourists during the first 11 months of this year, up 6 percent over the same period last year, tourism data showed.

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