Friday, April 6, 2007
According to their website, the Angkor National Museum (ANM) should be opening its doors this month. However, whether it will be the only museum in Siem Reap is up for debate. There's talk of Korean investment being directed to a second museum at the grounds of the Angkor Conservation compound and a third to be built with Japanese investment. Included in the ultramodern new building you can see on the main road to the Angkor complex, will be a cultural mall which will house restaurants, shops, a library and a spa. There is much debate at all levels and sighs of anguish already, with the suggestion that up to 700 items have been earmarked to be removed from the National Museum in Phnom Penh and transported to Siem Reap to help populate the new ANM. That fact that a Thai company has been responsible for the construction of the new building has also left a sour taste in the mouths of many. Whether the ANM does open its doors on time, we shall see, but the arguments for and against this new visitor attraction (set to cost foreign tourists $13 to enter) will rage on for a long time to come I'm sure.