President lays foundation of Asian textiles museum in Cambodia

President Pratibha Patil laid the foundation stone of a museum dedicated to traditional Asian textiles here Thursday as part of initiatives by India to reach out to member countries of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC).

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2010, 15:48 PM IST

Siem Reap, Cambodia: President Pratibha
Patil laid the foundation stone of a museum dedicated to
traditional Asian textiles here Thursday as part of initiatives
by India to reach out to member countries of the Mekong-Ganga
Cooperation (MGC).

Patil, who reached Siem Reap from Phnom Penh during
the last leg of her on-going state visit to Cambodia, went
directly from the airport to the site of the Museum to lay the
foundation stone.

Siem Reap is famous for the Angor Wat temples.

Prime Minister A B Vajpayee had announced a financial
grant of USD 1 million for setting up of the "Museum of
Traditional Asian Textiles" during his visit to Cambodia in
April 2002.

MGC comprises of six members -- India, Thailand,
Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam -- and the grouping aims to
work on cooperation in tourism, culture, education, and
transportation linkage.

At a Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Ministerial meeting of
2007, all the MGC countries committed support to this project
in terms of expertise, exhibits and artefacts.

Besides the exhibits and interactive facilities, the
proposed museum will have a training centre and workshops for
Cambodians, a fashion design and development centre using
traditional ethnic designs, and a children activity and
learning centre.

The Cambodian government has allotted one hectare of
land in prime location in Siem Reap for this project.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has been
designated by the Government of India as the nodal agency for
implementing the project.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2004
between ICCR and APSARA - Authority for Protection and
Management of Angkor and the region of Siem Reap, which is the
nodal body for the project on behalf of Cambodia.

Under this MoU, a project implementation and
Supervisory Committee (PISC) has been constituted by the
Cambodian government under the chairmanship of Cambodian
Senior Minister Yim Nolla.

Indian embassy sources said Government of India has
approved revised financial projections of USD 1,772,219 as the
original estimates prepared in 2005 have escalated.

"An appropriate arrangement has to be worked out to
administer as well as do policy planning for the museum after
construction," Indian embassy sources said.

A board of governors consisting of representatives
drawn from APSARA, Indian Mission here and from all MGC
countries may be formed in future, sources said.

PTI