US pays for Khmer Rouge preservation

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
US Ambassador William Heidt signs the agreement yesterday at Tuol Sleng. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The United States has provided $55,500 to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts for a project aimed at preserving textile evidence belonging to victims of the Khmer Rouge regime at Tuol Seng Genocide Museum.

Chhay Visoth, director of Tuol Sleng, said the textile evidence includes clothes, shoes, belts, bags and other items that are stored at the museum.

“The preservation of these items is to ensure they can continue to be showed to younger generations so they can understand Cambodian history,” Mr Visoth said.

He added that experts from the US have come to train Cambodian officials about preservation techniques.

US Ambassador to Cambodia Williams Heidt said the project will preserve 3,000 to 5,000 articles of adult and children’s clothing currently stored at the museum.

He added that some of the items still showed blood and sweat stains.

“Our cooperation with Tuol Sleng is part of our larger effort to help preserve Cambodia’s cultural heritage,” he said.

“The US embassy is proud to support Tuol Sleng and its educational mission to preserve the history of the Khmer Rouge period.”

Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts secretary of state Chuch Phoeurn said the project is part of a larger push to preserve Cambodia’s heritage.

“After the fall of Khmer Rouge in 1979, the museum collected the textile evidence to show the public,” he said, noting much of the evidence was destroyed by insects.

About 1.7 million people died under the Khmer Rouge from execution, disease and starvation from 1975-1979.

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