A prominent educational film producer and his friends are making a statue in honour of Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals founder Dr Beat Richner, who died on Sunday.
Tan Kimsour said yesterday that he and his team are working on the statue and it is expected to take six weeks to complete.
He said that when complete, the statue will be placed in the Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital near Wat Phnom for people to pay their respects to Dr Richner.
“The statue is being made from bronze and will be about one meter high,” Mr Kimsour said. “I and some of my friends will spend between $2,000 and $3,000 to make Dr Richner’s statue.”
“We are doing this because we want to express our respect and love for Dr Richner who sacrificed his wealth, time and labour to help Cambodian people, especially children,” he added.
Mr Kimsour noted that he did not request help from the government or donors because he thinks that the government will also plan to build a statue for Dr Richner.
“I hope that the government will make a bigger statue of Dr Richner, so I have not requested its help for this project,” he said. “We are making this statue to the best of our abilities.”
Phay Siphan, government spokesman, said that the government has not yet made any plans for a statue.
“It is my view and that of the government that it is the Prime Minister who will decide on building a statue,” he said.
Dr Richner died in Zurich on Sunday, aged 71. He set up the first Kantha Bopha hospital in 1992 and oversaw all others until 2017, when he stepped down due to a serious medical condition.
Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath yesterday requested for the government to build a statue of Dr Richner at each of the Kantha Bopha hospitals because he sacrificed almost all his life to help Cambodian children.
“To build his statue is a way of paying respect and will serve to remind the next generations about his sacrifices for Cambodian people,” he said.