Cambodia and the First World War
The Underwater Heritage
May 5 - September 30, 2016

New exhibition at the National Museum Phnom Penh reveals the role of Cambodia during the First World War and the importance of underwater heritage

Phnom Penh – The Culture Department of UNESCO in Phnom Penh announced the opening of a new exhibition at the National Museum on Thursday, 5 May. This temporary exhibition will be titled “Cambodia and the First World War, The Underwater Heritage” and will be open until 30 September 2016.

Cambodia and the First World War
A lot of people do not realise Cambodia contributed to the First World War, but as a French Protectorate, their role was not to be underestimated”, says Philippe Delanghe, Culture Programme Specialist at UNESCO in Phnom Penh. Many Cambodians were sent to the European frontlines and the museum offers new insights into their stories.
In this exhibition, maritime underwater heritage is key. All Cambodians who participated in the Great War were transported to Europe by boat, and naval combat was a major element during the conflict. Unfortunately, many soldiers died in shipwrecks and the remnants of these important battles are found underneath the surface. The exhibition shows how important underwater cultural heritage is as part of today’s world heritage.

Input of the local community
While organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, a lot of the exhibition itself was made by Cambodians. Students and professors of the Royal University of Phmon Penh, students of the Royal University of Fine Arts and students of the Lycée français René Descartes in Phnom Penh participated in the creation of the exhibit.
Keen to learn more about Cambodia’s role in the Great War? Visit the National Museum from 5 May to 30 September!

To learn more about this exhibition, please contact:
Philippe Delanghe, Culture Programme Specialist
38 Samdech Sothearos Blvd,
P.O. Box 29,
Phnom Penh
+855 23 426 104

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