India urged to stop Angkor Wat ‘replica’ plan

Phnom Penh, Aug 11 (IANS) Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong on Tuesday requested the Indian government to tell an Indian trust, Mahavir Mandir, to abandon its plan to build a near replica of Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temple, a spokesman said.

He raised the request during a meeting with outgoing ambassador of India to Cambodia Dinesh K. Patnaik, Xinhua quoted Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Chum Sounry as saying.

“The deputy prime minister said Angkor Wat temple is the national symbol of Cambodia and requested Indian government to “completely stop” the company’s plan to build the replica of Angkor Wat temple,” he said.

In response, Patnaik promised to convey this request to the government of India.

Mahavir Mandir, a Hindu trust based in Bihar, delayed in June its plan to construct a near-replica of the world famous Angkor Wat temple in Bihar after the Cambodian government had sent a protest note to India.

Located in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, Angkor Wat temple is the country’s most popular tourist destination.

According to government figures, the 12th century site attracted nearly 1.24 million foreign tourists in the first seven months of 2015, earning $35 million from ticket sales.

 

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