Sunday, September 20, 2009

Museum Commission To Safeguard Tuol Sleng

By Kong Sothanarith, VOA Khmer
Original report from Phnom Penh
18 September 2009

The government is planning to set up a national commission following the July listing of the Tuol Sleng museum as a Unesco Memory of the World.

Tuol Sleng, a former high school, was a Khmer Rouge torture center run by Duch, who is currently on trial at the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal.

It has been a museum since the Vietnamese ousted the Khmer Rouge in 1979. The government needs to establish a commission in order to preserve the museum under its new status.

The government has submitted thousands of archives, including 4,186 confessions, 6,226 prisoner biographies, and 6,147 photographic prints and negatives of prisoners.

“This national commission will be charged with oversight of all patrimonial documents in the country,” said Hak Touch, director of museums for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

Unesco will provide financial and technical assistance to preserve Tuol Sleng’s archives, he said.

Yos Eang, deputy director-general of Cambodia’s national commission to Unesco, said the establishment of the commission will take time.

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