Reuters report that the Sarus Crane is getting some much needed help in Cambodia in order for it to flourish and survive. And also on the newswires is a review from SwissInfo of 'Cambodia's Divine Legacy,' 140 of Angkor's best sculptural masterpieces, currently on tour in Europe.
Cambodia sets up sanctuary for rare crane
Cambodia has established an 8,000 hectare (20,000 acre) sanctuary in flood plains near the Mekong Delta to protect the rare Eastern Sarus Crane, Environment Minister Mok Mareth said on Friday. Nearly 300 of the red-headed, 1.3 meter (4 feet) tall birds have been found in two districts of Takeo province near the border with Vietnam. Conservationists said in 1999 there may be fewer than 1,000 of the birds left in the wild. "We need to protect these beautiful creatures," Mok Mareth said, adding that wildlife officials had been dispatched to tell local fishermen and farmers not to hunt the cranes for food. The cranes have also been found in the northwestern province of Banteay Meanchey province, 300 km (185 miles) northwest of Phnom Penh, in an old Khmer Rouge reservoir. Thanks to a similar government protection and sanctuary scheme introduced in 1999, that population had grown from 220 to 495 this year, officials said.
Masterpieces from Angkor in Cambodia, thought to be the world's first-pre industrial city, are currently pulling in the crowds at the Rietberg museum in Zurich. With its 140 examples of Khmer art from different periods, the exhibition -"Cambodia's Divine Legacy" - offers fascinating insights into the ancient kingdoms of the country. The director of the Rietberg museum, Albert Lutz, couldn't hide his enthusiasm as he presented the works to the media. "We have never had so many significant treasures of art history from one country," he said. It was largely thanks to German president Horst Köhler, who held discussions with King Norodom Sihamoni, that Cambodia's national treasures were allowed out of the country. The two curators of the exhibition, Wibke Lobo from Berlin and Helen Ibbitson Jessup from Washington, are among the world's most knowledgeable specialists of Khmer art. "Even if you know the masterpieces by heart, they come to life again at every exhibition", the United States art historian said when seeing them in Zurich. "This is one of the most beautiful presentations I have ever seen." Orange recesses bring out the contours of the Buddha statues inside them, large panelled walls were chosen for imposing heads and special lighting intensifies the illusion of movement of the four-armed sculptures.