Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona held a December 13 prayer ceremony behind Angkor Wat Temple in preparation for a “night of remembrance” event in Siem Reap in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the inscription of Angkor in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The event will include cultural heritage and artistic performances, with the participation of nearly 300 performers.

Apsara National Authority (ANA) spokesman Long Kosal said on December 13 that after the prayer ceremony, the main programme will begin on December 14 with an exhibition of ANA’s achievements over the past 30 years.

He added that later in the day, artistic performances will be held at the east side of Angkor Wat Temple to showcase Cambodia's cultural heritage.

On the second day, popular comedian and ayai singer Prum Manh will perform and there will be a Kun Lbokator martial arts demonstration.

On the final day, a Khmer shadow theatre performance and a Lkhon Khol (Khmer masked theatre) performance will take place.

“We hold this event for the Remembrance of Angkor every year to commemorate our Khmer ancestors of every generation who sacrificed themselves to build the temples and to protect and maintain them,” he said. "It is our connection to the past that is our identity and traditions."

On December 13, nearly 1,000 students were joined by ANA director-general Hang Pov, along with other leaders, on a march to Angkor Wat.

Pov said the marches were part of the remembrance of Angkor and served as a message to show that every Cambodian citizen remembers their ancestors, from the kings and queens down to the common workers who built the temples.

“Angkor is a living, priceless heritage. In this age of modern technology, countries around the world could try to copy or build large new temples, but the new construction is meaningless compared to Cambodia's temples. This temple is the soul and national identity of Cambodia,” he said.