Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vandals hurt ‘national pride’

Vandals hurt ‘national pride’

Vandals hurt ‘national pride’

110803_6
The defaced statue of the Angkorian King Jayavaraman VII in front of the Battambang provincial governor’s residence.

Battambang's tourism director lashed out yesterday at unidentified vandals who defaced a statue of Angkorian King Jayavaraman VII located in front of the provincial governor’s residence last week, calling them “stupid” and “crazy”.

Black tears were painted coming from the statue’s eyes and its torso was marked with what appeared to be ribs, producing a weeping, emaciated likeness of the 12th century king. The statue was made just four months ago with funding from Battambang tycoon Doeun Sovann.

Tan Bunroeung, director of Battambang’s tourism department, said yesterday that he was only informed of the bizarre graffiti on Monday. He called the graffiti an affront to “provincial and national pride”, saying it would be removed immediately.  

King Jayavaraman VII was a devout Buddhist, credited by Cambodia historian David Chandler with ousting Cham invaders, unifying the Kingdom of Angkor, and constructing the famous Angkor Thom temple near modern-day Siem Reap.

In an interview with The Post yesterday, Royal University history lecturer Sombo Manara, referred to the king as a “model Khmer hero”.

“In my opinion the vandals were saying that people in Cambodia need to learn more about Jayavaraman VII,” he said, adding that his tears could express “worry that Cambodians no longer know about the qualities of good leadership”.

A provincial resident, who wished not to be named, suggested that the perpetrators may have been trying “to tell other people about their suffering”.

Prach Chan, Battambang’s  provincial governor and Sar Thet, the provincial police chief, could not be reached for comment.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially