The Plan For Anlong Veng’s KR Historical Museum Silent at the Moment
Posted by khmernews on August 7, 2007
Anlong Veng-Oddar Meanchey: The plan to build a local museum for maintaining and displaying Khmer Rouge (KR) history is silent at the moment. “There are some private companies wanting to invest in the project,” said the initiator, adding that but it is impossible. “The Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) wants us to be patient since they believe that they will be able to find donation from foreign donors to build the museum,” he said.
Nhem En, former KR photographer who at present is the Anglong Veng’s deputy governor and who initiated to build the local museum, said July 31 that the museum was planned to be built for maintaining and displaying KR history on 200 square metres of land in Thnal Kaeng, Anlong Veng in the center of the district. However, the plan has not been completed, besides clearing the land and filling around 100 trucks of dumping land. So far, there have not been enough budgets for the construction.
The museum’s compound stretches on 5,000 square metres of land and the construction has been permitted by all levels of authorities and culture experts. However, the appeal for funds to local and international donors still hasn’t been responded.
Nhem En continued to say that so far, there had been private businessmen contacting him to invest on building the museum with the amount from $20,000 to $100,000, but he refused since it might lose its “original value” and contrast to the museum policies which intend to find funds for public uses.
It is planned that when the museum is open to visitors, the income will be used for: (1). Education development, (2) health, and (3) social affairs (helping poor widows and orphans affected by wars).
Nhem En also responded to some criticisms which said he loved and praised the Khmer Rouge. “I don’t love and praise the Khmer Rouge, but I have to maintain the KR history that I and others have known so as not to varnish,” he said.
Meanwhile, he criticized the failed projects and the disappearance of KR historical spots in Anlong Veng, in which only 20 percent of the places left at the present time.
He hoped that if [those places] could be maintained and the museum was built, Anlong Veng could earn up to $1 million from local and foreign visitors and researchers.
“Concerning the museum construction, Youk Chhang, director of the DC-Cam, told me not to be too worried about it since there would be funds for that,” Nhem En said.
He said that along with thousands of photos and evidence of the Khmer Rouge he had kept, there were similar stuff from former KR chiefs and soldiers including Pol Pot’s car driver. He himself also has around 1,000 KR songs.
-Extracted from Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4352, Thursday, August 2, 2007.