World Monuments Fund Applauds Decision to Reject Theme Park Development Near Angkor
World Monuments Fund (WMF) applauds the decision by Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to reject plans by NagaCorp Ltd. to build a theme park on the outskirts of Angkor Archaeological Park. The proposed 75-hectare development, just 500 meters outside the buffer zone of the UNESCO World Heritage site, would have risked diminishing an inimitable monument to Cambodian culture tremendously important for the local community and whose significance is recognized the world over.
For 30 years, WMF has been deeply involved in the preservation of Angkor Archaeological Park since the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide. Our ongoing conservation projects employ approximately 100 local residents, many of whom have been working with WMF at the site for more than 20 years. Exacerbating the impact of tourism, depleting natural resources, and undermining the unique sense of place of this ancient wonder, the proposed theme park would have greatly undermined the progress made over decades to recover the legacy of this incredible civilization and restore a sense of pride and identity to the nation after a dark period in its history. The reversal of the development plans is a welcome decision for the protection of Angkor, the local communities who steward the archaeological park, and all who derive meaning from this extraordinary site.