Professor Claude Jacques, one of the finest connoisseurs of Khmer civilization, was also one of the last researchers of the French Far East school to have worked in Cambodia in the 1960s. 

Epigraphist, heir of Georges Cœdès, he participated in 1965 in the creation of the Faculty of Archaeology of Phnom Penh where he taught until the seventies. The war will force him to leave Cambodia. He did not return until the end of the 1980s, after the genocide, alerting the international community to the disappearance of all his Cambodian colleagues.

His numerous publications have allowed a wide audience to discover the temples of Angkor. After the Khmer genocide, the President of the Republic François Mitterrand asked him to participate in the working group on the reconstruction of Cambodia’s heritage, chaired by Laure Adler.

He was Advisor for Angkor to Federico Mayor, then Director-General of UNESCO. Since 1992, he has worked regularly with the Ministry of Culture, until the last committee in December 2017 where he agreed to be filmed for a distance training module on Angkor, which will be dedicated to him.

He was also the professor of Khmer epigraphy of his royal highness, Princess Sirindhorn, daughter of the King of Thailand. Last June, he received the highest distinction of the Kingdom of Cambodia from King Norodom Sihamoni.

He was a master who knew how to share his immense knowledge and love of Cambodia. A remarkable man who fought tirelessly to help Cambodians reconnect with what is most dear to them: their history, their identity, their heritage.

The Minister of Culture sends her thoughts to her family, loved ones and students.