Remarks by Public Affairs Officer Jay Raman at the Launch of Vann Molyvann Project: Summer School 2015

As Prepared for Delivery
SA SA BASSAC, Phnom Penh
June 13, 2015

The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh is delighted to be a sponsor of the Vann Molyvann Project: Summer School 2015.

First and foremost, the project celebrates the life and work of Vann Molyvann, a peerless architect whose work has inspired, and will continue to inspire, countless other architects, urban planners, and ordinary citizens from Cambodia and around the globe. As we know, architecture is vulnerable both to nature and to man, and that is true for Vann Molyvann’s work as well. Already some has been lost. So we need to work together to save and document what remains. The U.S. government has a long record of helping Cambodia to preserve its extraordinary cultural heritage, including its modern culture, and this project is a small measure of that commitment.

Second, this project is an opportunity to support an important and vital exchange between students from the United States and students from Cambodia, who will work together, collaborate, brainstorm, network, and ultimately produce a historical record of Vann Molyvann’s work that will ensure that it endures for a long time to come. Exchanges are at the heart of what we do as an Embassy. The foundation of the U.S.-Cambodia relationship is not the relationship between our governments but the relationship between our people. The U.S. students participating in the summer school are each ambassadors in their own way, and we couldn’t be prouder to help bring them here.

Finally, this project is an opportunity to work once again with some outstanding partners from both of our countries. I am particularly grateful to the Vann Molyvann project, for inviting us to participate. Thank you to Sa Sa Bassac for its leadership of this program. Thanks also to the Center for Khmer Studies, the East-West Center, and the many others who are helping to make this a success. And of course our deepest appreciation goes to Vann Molyvann and his daughter Delphine, who honors us with her presence.

Thank you very much.