22:34, July 01, 2010
Italian ambassador told the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An Thursday that Italy is to build a laboratory center in Siem Reap province and send professors to train Cambodian students to fix broken artifacts.
Ambassador Michelangelo Pipan told Sok An that Italy has been pleased with helping the Kingdom to restore the Pre Rup Temple over the last four years.
Pre Rup was the second temple mountain, after East Mebon which it resembles, constructed in the Angkor region by Rajendravarman II (944-968). In recent years Pre Rup Temple has been undergoing restoration financed through the Italy funds-in-Trust Project.
Italy has also expanded its project in Siem Reap province, the home of Angkor, to fix the staircase of more than 300 meters of Angkor Temple.
The well-known Italian professors, of the University of Palermo, are expected to arrive in October this year in Siem Reap, where they will train 20 Cambodian students from the Royal University of Fine Arts to learn about the artistic works and how to fix over 4, 000 Khmer artifacts, which have been collected and stored in the province.
The ambassador said that those students, who will attend the three-year training course, will be awarded master degree which is equivalent to the degree provided by Italian universities. They would be sent to study more in Italy in the future if necessary.
"I ask the Cambodian government to summit its request of any prioritized projects to the Italian embassy from there we will consider more assistance," Pipan told Sok An, who is also the Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers.
Sok An, in response, asked Italy to look to expand its assistance to preserve as well as preservation of the 900-year-old Khmer Preah Vihear Temple which was listed in July 2008 as a World Heritage Site.