Cambodia pledges to combat illicit trafficking of cultural properties: minister hinh anh 1At the International Conference on the Prevention and Control of Cultural Property (Photo: Internet)

Phnom Penh (VNA) - Cambodia is committed to working closely with other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and international partners to combat the illicit trafficking of cultural properties, the country’s Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona has said.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the International Conference on the Prevention and Control of Cultural Property on September 5, Sackona said Cambodia and ASEAN recognise the critical and urgent need to safeguard Southeast Asia's shared heritage by combating the illicit trade in cultural property and building a responsible art market.

She emphasised that in recent years, Cambodia and the ASEAN nations have made great strides in protecting their rich history from cultural losses due to organised looting and theft, while working tirelessly to strengthen responsible cultural exchanges with foreign governments, museums, and the private sector.

However, the global art market continues to be full of stolen cultural objects, therefore, Cambodia is dedicated to collaborating with other ASEAN members and other international partners, to combat this and promote the protection of cultural property.

The minister said as the chair of ASEAN for 2022, Cambodia will do its best to safeguard and foster ASEAN identity, as well as to maintain and enhance peace, security, and stability in Southeast Asia.

The three-day conference brought together ASEAN ministers responsible for culture and arts as well as experts in cultural policy, law enforcement, museums, and the art market from around the world.

It offered an opportunity for participants to discuss the dimension of illicit trafficking of cultural properties in the region and outlined some strategies to protect the heritages for younger generations as well as ways to retrieve stolen national treasures, Sackona said./.