Nevada: Is there is an ‘Angelina Jolie Temple’ in Cambodia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor temple complex after the name of the Hollywood star?
Yes, that is what 12th century “Ta Prohm”, the highly visited and most photographed temple site in Angkor, is popularly called these days. It is otherwise known as “Old Brahma” and was initially named "Rajavihara" (royal monastery).
It was said to be the setting for various scenes in the first “Tomb Raider” (Simon West) films, in which Jolie played the fantasy character Lara Croft. Jolie also reportedly adopted a child from the Siem Reap province in which this temple complex is located. Some restaurants even sell “Tomb Raider cocktail’ (Cointreau, lime and soda) in this province after Jolie’s choice drink. She appears to be the “patron saint” of Cambodia.
Prominent Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Jolie to raise awareness about better preservation of this world heritage as more needed to be done to safeguard the temple complex and its surroundings and deteriorating bas-reliefs; save it from vandalism and looting; put some controls on unchecked tourism; check the demand for water table which could undermine the stability of sandy soils under the temples.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged UNESCO World Heritage Convention and Cambodia government to provide more funding for the upkeep of the temple complex and spend more than half the ticket revenue on the temples.
Angkor Archaeological Park contains magnificent remains of over 1000 temples going back to ninth century, spread over about 400 square kilometers and receives about three million visitors annually.