Vandals have once again defaced a statue of Jayavarman VII’s second wife, Princess Indra Devi, in Battambang province’s Sar Kheng Park.
The face of the statue, built in 2010, was painted over on Saturday evening, according to officials who cleaned it yesterday.
Yem Vichet, Battambang town police chief, said it is not the first time that this has happened to the statue.
“Last time, the homeless people took a flag to cover [Indra Devi’s] head and painted on her statue when our forces were not keeping watch,” he said.
Vichet said that he and the local officials often ward off homeless people from the statue when they sleep there because they cause disorder and defecate in the park.
“[The homeless] are angry with us for often asking them to leave, so they make trouble almost every day.
There are a lot of homeless people in our town and although we move them, they come back to sleep,” he said.
Chet Vanny, Battambang provincial deputy police chief, blamed local authorities for the damage.
“I did not see the painting on the Indra Devi statue, but it is careless of those local authorities.
We will deploy more police officials to avoid a repeat offence,” he said.
Vichet, however, said that while officials guard the statue both day and night they cannot maintain constant vigilance.
“We used to send [the homeless] to the rehabilitation centre, but they escape. It is difficult to control them.”