With a new Heritage Conservation Centre on the agenda for Champasack, ancient artifacts and cultural legacies in the southern provinces will soon be on display for both locals and visitors to appreciate and admire.
With the help of the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, the Heritage Department under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism has made plans to establish the US$1.5 million centre, aiming to improve the showcasing, preservation and storage of heritage items of Vat Phou Champasack and other surrounding areas.
Vat Phou Champasack is a Khmer-style temple built in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D. and dedicated to the Hindu deity, Shiva. It is hailed as one of the most significant architectural sites in Southeast Asia, and predates Angkor Wat located in modern day Cambodia.
Settled 800km south of Vientiane, the temple complex was the second in the country to be designated as a world heritage site by the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in 2001 following the historic town of Luang Prabang, first named in 1995.
Submissions for the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province and Hin Nam Nor National Protected Area in Khammuan province are also being prepared by officials to UNESCO for consideration, with the hope of receiving World Heritage status in the future.
Director General of the Heritage Department under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Thongbay Phothisane stated, “currently we have to discuss with the involved sectors especially the UNESCO to decide the location to construct the center building before we begin the relevant works”.
Construction for the new Heritage Conservation Centre is set to begin in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.