The Phnom Penh Municipal Hall formally inaugurated a statue of a woman cradling her child in her arms at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre on Tuesday to show the bitter history of the Khmer Rouge regime.
The statue serves to remember the historic truth of the bitter genocide under the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-1979, which separated families.
Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng attended the inauguration ceremony and said although Cambodians now lived in harmony under the light of peace and development, they must remember the painful and dark past too.
“We must remember and never forget. We must teach the younger generation to learn about the horrifying regime so such a brutal regime never returns to our society again,” he said.
The unveiling of the statue coincides with the 15-day Pchum Ben festival at pagodas in towns and the countryside. Pchum Ben is a Buddhist celebration dedicated to ancestors and departed relatives.
The statue is made from copper and weighs nearly 1,000kg. It is 3.22m high, 1.3m wide and costs more than $40,000. It took six months to fabricate.
An inscription on the statue in Khmer and English reads: “Never forget about crimes in the Democratic Kampuchea regime from 17-04-1975 to 06-01-1979.”