Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pol Pot's shoes, S-21 cameras up for sale

Pol Pot's shoes, S-21 cameras up for sale

Pol Pot's shoes, S-21 cameras up for sale

FORMER Tuol Sleng prison photographer Nhem En has made an open call for offers on two of his cameras and a pair of Pol Pot's shoes to fund a museum in his hometown, the former communist stronghold Anlong Veng.

"I would like to call on both national and international, private and state companies to start bidding on a pair of Pol Pot's shoes and two cameras for the [starting] price of US$500,000," Nhem En, now deputy governor of Anlong Veng district, Oddar Meanchey province, said Sunday.

He said he used the cameras, one German and one Chinese, to photograph prisoners at Tuol Sleng before their death, which are now viewed by tourists visiting the genocide museum.  He added that the cameras shot about 80 percent of S-21's pictures, which is why he set the starting price so high.

"Right now, I do not have enough money to continue setting up my museum. That's why I decided to offer a pair of Pol Pot's shoes and two cameras for auction," he said.

Nhem En said he will hold a news conference soon to announce details of the sale.

The ex-cadre has struggled to finance his museum despite numerous calls for donations. So far, he says, he has spent about $200,000 on buying and clearing some 50 hectares of land.

Nhem En says the museum, if it's built, will showcase items and photos from the Khmer Rouge era, including a walking stick owned by deceased former leader Ta Mok.  

Auctioning history

Youk Chhang, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, said it was Nhem En's individual right to sell the items, as they were his own private property. However, he questioned the merit of having the items in the private sphere, as opposed to in a museum.

"It does not matter [if Nhem En sells the items], but I think it would be better to keep the cameras and the shoes in a museum to show the younger generation," he said. "If Tuol Sleng museum is able, it should request to keep the items there. Once things are put on auction, you do not know where they will end up." 

Him Chhem, minister of culture and fine arts, said he had not yet been informed about the sale  but said he would find out whether the items were the rightful property of Nhem En.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all