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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Suspected statue vandal wanted Angkorian King ‘to see’

Suspected statue vandal wanted Angkorian King ‘to see’

A man with mental health problems was released by police on Tuesday after being questioned in connection with the vandalism of a statue of Angkorian King Jayavaraman VI in Battambang town.

Two eyes crying black tears were painted on the statue’s head last week, and its torso was marked with what appeared to be ribs.

San Kosal, 26, from Chrey commune in Battambang’s Thma Koul district, told police that he drew the eyes to allow King Jayavaraman VII to see the people around him.

“When you have eyes, you have tears.  This is what he told us,” Battambang town police chief Thuch Ra said yesterday. He said that San Kosal painted the rib cage “to show that people have bones.”

“The man has mental health issues so we cannot arrest him,” Thuch Ra said.  

“We have asked his parents to look after him and prevent him from doing this again.”

He added that the paint had been removed from the statue with gasoline on Monday.

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