Famed Lyricist Dies at 77

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Kong Bun Chhoeun, a decorated songwriter from the golden era of Cambodian music, died in Norway at the age of 77 on Sunday. Facebook

Famed Cambodian songwriter Kong Bun Chhoeun, who wrote a number of hits for famous singers in the 1960s, died in Norway at the age of 77 on Sunday, where he had lived after fleeing Cambodia in 2000.
 
Also a novelist, Mr. Bun Chhoeun wrote hundreds of songs for Cambodian singers before leaving Cambodia in 2000 after writing a book about his niece, who suffered an acid attack at the hands of the wife of a government official.
 
His daughter, Bun Chhoeun Somyren, posted on Facebook to say her father died of cancer at the Mandal Hospital in Norway. He had been battling the disease for several months.
 
“I was so regretful after I heard that daddy’s condition was serious, that he could [die]. Even though I tried to travel from another country as soon as possible, it was too late. I could not see your last minute,” she wrote.
 
The Culture Ministry released a statement about Mr. Bun Chhoeun’s passing, saying the country and world had lost a great lyricist who contributed to the conservation and development of culture.
 
His lyrics, novels and other achievements reflected real society, the statement read.
 
Mr. Bun Chhoeun requested a statue in his visage or a stupa be built near the Sangkae River in Battambang town. A statue will be built to commemorate his achievements.
 
Mr. Bun Chhoeun’s son-in-law, Moth Thary, posted on his Facebook saying he wanted to thank provincial governor Chan Sophal, who respected his father-in-law’s last desire.
 
“At least we could have his statue on his homeland,” Mr. Thary wrote.
 
Mr. Sophal confirmed to local media that he will build the statue or stupa to hold Mr. Bun Chhoeun’s ashes if doing so is supported by the public.
 
Mr. Sophal could not be reached for comment yesterday.
 
Provincial administration director Soeum Bunrith told Khmer Times that his provincial hall does not know of any plans to build the statue.
 
“Related to this stupa or statue, it is the responsibility of Mr. Bun Chhoeun’s family to work on it.
 
“Until now, we have not gotten any information or been contacted by his [Mr. Bun Chhoeun] family talking about this issue,” Mr. Bunrith said, adding that if the statue is built on public land along the Sangkae River, the provincial authorities will have to ask for its approval at the national level.

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