During long years of conservation work, restoration and enhancement of the Angkor monuments and sites, much experience has been acquired regarding both the flawless organization of international cooperation for the safeguarding of a heritage of outstanding universal value and the accumulation of much scientific and technical data that have tremendously enriched our knowledge of the history of Angkor Park.
This success on the international level leads UNESCO and many political leaders to consider the ICC experience and the policy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in terms of protecting its ancient culture as an example to follow for the rehabilitation of cultural heritage in countries currently ravaged by conflicts, where their museums, monuments and sites have unfortunately become targets in the same way as civilian populations.
We must be duly proud of such remarkable progress made in a short time after the tragedies that devastated the Kingdom of Cambodia as we unfortunately now see in particular, in other heritage-rich countries such as those that are part of the “Fertile Crescent.”
And it is also entirely legitimate that we take delight in such results which today serve to demonstrate the interaction between cultural heritage and sustainable development, notably with the international conference organized in Cambodia in 2014 by two United Nations agencies, UNESCO and UNWTO.
However, account must be taken of the fact that the development of technical capacities in the field of conservation and restoration cannot only be the fruitage of a long process of theoretical training along with application in the field which must be carried out with the greatest caution and sensitivity.
Certainly, like any newly established institution, there can be the risk of retreating into parochialism regarding some structures and a lack of coordination and sharing of scientific and technical information.
In this regard, the ad hoc group of experts who, for many years, have been offering their experience and confronting it with that of the specialist field teams, would like to draw to the attention of the APSARA Authority’s senior officials who are consistently present at the semi-annual ICC meetings, the importance of the quality of the technical project follow-up and the necessity of efficient coordination among the different departments of this prestigious institution.