Pre Rup temple closed due to structural instability

At risk: Sections of the Pre Rup temple have started to separate under the weight of countless tourists. — The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

THE Apsara National Authority (ANA) has temporarily banned tourists from visiting the Pre Rup temple area at the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap due to parts of the temple becoming unstable and posing a safety risk.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the ANA said the ban will be in effect from today until repairs are completed.

Sections of the temple, a popular sunset viewing spot, have started to separate under the weight of countless tourists who visit the site regularly to view the sunset.

ANA spokesman Long Kosal said experts plan to fix the temple.

“Tourist safety is our priority and that is why we need to fix it. We will make the place safe first,” he said.

A seller in Siem Reap town, Chea Heang Bou, said on Sunday that Pre Rup temple was severely damaged and the ANA should fix it as soon as possible because it could pose a danger to tourists.

“I think that it is a good thing that ANA banned visiting this temple. I used to go there and I saw that there are many broken points.

“We have to urgently fix it to avoid causing dangers to our tourists,” he said.

According to San Nhorn, the official in charge of conserving the temple, Pre Rup was built in the middle of the 10th century by King Rajendravarman II, and has a pyramid shape made of brick and stone.

Meanwhile, Kosal said scores of shops, stalls and restaurants had been dismantled near the western entrance of Angkor Wat as part of the ANA’s plan to beautify the area.

The roughly 150 owners of the structures will be allowed to start selling at a new location today.

Kosal told The Post on Sunday that the shop owners had volunteered to make these contributions to promote the value of Angkor as a world heritage site.

“This dismantling is voluntary under no duress. The ANA and the government will not allow for messy sales in that location. We will transform that place into a beautiful one to attract tourists. It will become a green tourist area,” he said. — The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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