UPDATE 3 (2013-1-8): NK News has an image of the new museum; explains some of the features it will contain; and reports that it will open in April.
UPDATE 2 (2011-11-26): Accoridng to AKP (Cambodia):
Cambodia has allowed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to build a cultural information centre (or welcome centre) in Siem Reap, the home of Angkor, as part of the government’s effort to attract more tourists, according to the Press and Quick Reaction Unit of the Council of Ministers.
In a meeting on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Sok An told the North Korean Ambassador H.E. Ri In Sok that Cambodia’s Apsara Authority is working with North Korean experts to build the centre, which will serve as a welcome centre for tourists who want information about Cambodia’s Angkorian history.
Officials of the Apsara Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap are working with 60 Korean experts and concerned institutions to ensure that the building design will feature the cultural values of both Cambodia and Korea.
The building, 70 metres in diameter and 124 metres in height, will be decorated with artistic works and drawings. Korean officials say that the world’s biggest artistic drawing will be displayed at the centre.
Dr. Sok An, who is also Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers, told the ambassador that the centre will represent not only the image of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea but also the good bilateral relations of the two Asian nations.
The outgoing North Korean Ambassador Ri In Sok, who is leaving Cambodia on Nov. 26 after a four-year term, told Dr. Sok An that North Korea wants unification with South Korea as soon as possible.
The ambassador was grateful to the deputy prime minister and the Royal Government of Cambodia as a whole for facilitating his diplomatic mission in Cambodia.
“I am pleased with the bilateral cooperation. I am pleased with the tremendous progress made by Cambodia over the past years,” said Ambassador Ri In Sok in the meeting.
The ambassador said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues its good relations with the Royal Government of Cambodia thanks to the diplomatic legacy of the relations between His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk, now retired, and the late Kim Il-Sung, leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
3. The Mansudae Overseas Development Group (MODG) is also building/has already built an e-museum in Siem REap. Learn more here.
UPDATE 1 (2011-8-3): Construction is underway on the project. According to the Global Post:
A wall of royal blue sheet metal obscures the North Koreans’ operation from public view. When I approached the entrance, a man in a fedora and a tank top rushed over to slam the gate shut. A furtive look inside revealed fewer than a dozen scrawny workers and a scrub grass field still void of much construction.
Though local reports vary, North Korea will be paid between $10 and $17 million for some sort of monument or museum near the temples. The head of Cambodia’s culture ministry, Khem Sarith, confirmed construction of an “e-museum” but could not confirm the cost.
Nor could he explain why a country that offers its citizens scant electricity should win an “electronic museum” contract, especially after its monuments abroad have drawn both condemnation and ridicule.
The full story is well worth reading here:
North Korea propaganda unit builds monuments abroad
ORIGINAL POST (2010-4-27): According to the AFP (Via the Straits Times in Singapore):
A controlversial North Korean construction company is in talks to build an ‘e-museum’ of Cambodia’s famed Angkor temples, a senior official said on Monday.
Mansudae Overseas Projects wants to build a museum close to the temple complex that will feature a computer-generated simulation of the ancient monuments, Cambodian Culture Ministry secretary of state Khem Sarith told AFP.
‘They have plans to build an electronic museum detailing the history of Angkor Wat temples,’ he said, adding he supported the plans after discussions last week with a company delegation and North Korean ambassador Ri In Sok.
Previous work by the North Korean company building major monuments in African countries has been criticised for lack of transparency. Its 49-metre bronze Monument for the African Renaissance has caused outrage in Senegal over the sale of government land to finance the project and the president’s plan to keep 35 per cent of any profit it generates.
Mr Khem Sarith said the so-called e-museum would be ‘good for tourists to view the temples and then select the one that they want to see’. Studies and more discussion were still needed before construction could start on the digitally-rendered overview, Khem Sarith said. He said he would meet again with officials from the company in June to discuss the project further.
The 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex is Cambodia’s main tourist attraction. It is located in the northwestern province of Siem Reap, where the ancient Khmer empire built some 1,000 temples spread over 160 square kilometres.
I have pretty extensive list of Mansudae Overseas Development Group projects from across the planet. If you are aware of a North Korean built project in your country, please let me know.
(Thanks to a reader)
Read the full story here:
‘e-museum’ of Angkor temples
AFP (Straits Times)