Phnom Penh (FN), Jul. 7 – Today, 7 July 2022, marked the 14th anniversary of Preah Vihear Temple being inscribed on the World Heritage list (7 July 2008 - 7 July 2022).

In 2001, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen issued a letter to UNESCO to register Preah Vihear Temple in the World Heritage List, adding that this was a priority of Cambodian foreign policy. A year later, UNESCO responded positively and assisted the kingdom in the preparation of relevant documents. As a result, in 2006, the World Heritage Committee approved the kingdom’s request and sent experts team to inspect the temple’s condition in 2007.

On 7 July 2008, after the study and the evaluation, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the Temple of Preah Vihear in the World Heritage List during its 32nd meeting in Quebec City, Canada.

Temple of Preah Vihear situates on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia; the Temple is dedicated to Shiva. The Temple is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800 metre long axis and dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. Nevertheless, its complex history can be traced to the 9th century, when the hermitage was founded. This site is particularly well preserved, mainly due to its remote location. The site is exceptional for the quality of its architecture, which is adapted to the natural environment and the religious function of the temple, as well as for the exceptional quality of its carved stone ornamentation, UNESCO wrote.

The Temple of Preah Vihear, a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases on an 800 metre long axis, is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture, in terms of plan, decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape environment. It is very ‘pure’ both in plan and in the detail of its decoration.

Authenticity, in terms of the way the buildings and their materials express well the values of the property, has been established. The attributes of the property comprise the temple complex; the integrity of the property has to a degree been compromised by the absence of part of the promontory from the perimeter of the property. The protective measures for the Temple, in terms of legal protection are adequate; the progress made in defining the parameters of the Management Plan needs to be consolidated into an approved, full Management Plan, UNESCO added.