The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) plans to build one of the world's largest museums about mine action to preserve historical documents and evidence of civil war tragedies in Cambodia, CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said.
Ratana told The Post that CMAC has been planning to construct the museum since 2004 on 12ha of land in Trapaing Thom commune of Siem Reap province’s Prasat Bakong district.
“We have collected landmines, unexploded ordnance and we launched it in 2017 as our first step,” he said.
“We have three steps. The first step is a temporary one. We do not have the budget to construct the building yet, but we want to build one of the largest mine-shaped buildings in the world.”
“The museum will be about mine munitions in Cambodia. We are working on it and hope to see it built soon,” he added.
Ratana continued that CMAC has operated the museum since 2017. Therefore, the past four years has provided a lot of experience in assessing what visitors want and the interests of students and youth in the museum.
“This is why we want to expand the museum. We want to construct this building, but in the past, we had not been able to do so. Now, we hope that they [donors] will help us achieve this goal,” he said. “We will not wait until demining is complete to construct the building.”
CMAC's vision is to build the museum reflecting "Museum of Peace, Mine Action.” It also wants the museum to store historical documents showing the tragedy of the war in Cambodia, and the younger generation can learn about it, Ratana said.
He emphasised that the museum was also a place for specialists from all over the world to study and research minefields and post-war demining.
“Overall, the museum we are planning will be beneficial in international cooperation with a number of countries, such as post-war countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East,” he said.
“They need a place to be able to learn professional skills in mines as well.”