Remarks by Ambassador William A. Heidt at the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation Signing Ceremony

(delivered in Khmer)
Angkor Borei, Takeo
September 27, 2016

Good morning and thank you all for being here today. Thank you especially to Her Excellency Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, for organizing today’s event and for the Ministry’s long partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh. I congratulate you and your team for your tireless efforts to lead the Cambodian government’s efforts to preserve your cultural heritage. In addition, we would like to recognize and thank Mr. Dim Kimsan, Governor of Angkor Borei District, and Ms. Promh Sokunthear, Director of Takeo Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts for their support.

Sotie and I are delighted to join the Minister today to sign a grant that will help the Ministry of Culture document 24 monuments from the 6th and 7th centuries in Takeo province and six other provinces. This project will increase our understanding of Cambodia’s culture heritage and assist in efforts to preserve these important sites.

The grant we are signing today comes from the U.S. State Department’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. In the last 15 years, the U.S. government has invested nearly $4 million on 18 projects in Cambodia. In 2003, the Ambassadors Fund supported an archaeological investigation to explore the relationship between the ancient settlements of Phnom Borei and Angkor Borei.

The Ambassadors Fund is an investment in Cambodia’s cultural history. We are investing in the cultural preservation community – archaeologists, conservationists, and workers. We are investing in the people who live near these monuments. We are investing in youth so that they can educate future generations.

The United States is proud to support Cambodia’s efforts to protect, document, and share its extraordinary cultural heritage. I am honored to lend my name to this effort and wish the Minister and her colleagues much success in this project.

Thank you very much and goodbye.