Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Permanent DC-Cam in the works

Permanent DC-Cam in the works

Permanent DC-Cam in the works

The government has allocated a plot of land for the construction of a permanent Documentation Center of Cambodia. According to plans, the new DC-Cam building will symbolically be placed near the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Since 1995, DC-Cam has collected documentation and evidence about the Khmer Rouge regime at a discreet location near the Independence Monument. Government approval is an important step on the way to establishing a more prominent memorial to the victims of KR atrocities, that at the same time is dedicated to further research and education.

For years, this has been a dream of DC-Cam Director, Youk Chhang.

"Since the day I left Cambodia [in the 1980s], my heart is always with this project," says Chhang, who returned to his country in 1995 to set up DC-Cam.

"Having a permanent center focusing on genocide study is the only way to prevent the return of the genocide to Cambodia and other parts of the world. It will be the only way to keep the prevention alive, and it is also the only way that the memory of genocide victims will be respected."

Apart from its current function as research facility and repository for DC-Cam's more than 350,000 pages of documentation, the new building will also house a public museum displaying photographs, manuscripts and video tapes.

Chhang plans to host an architectural competition for the design of the new DC-Cam. Departments of Architecture at the universities of Yale, Oxford and Cambridge have already agreed to participate.

Also, contributions from the Cambodian School of Architecture and Fine Arts and an already finished proposal from local contractor Paul Redfern will be among the 12 competing design plans.

According to Chhang, some scholars have already offered to donate their archives to the new DC-Cam, but funding for the construction has not yet been secured. However,

Chhang remains optimistic that the total budget of $3-5 million can be obtained from DC-Cam's regular and new donors.

"I have informed many foreign embassies, King Sihanouk and the Cambodian government.

Everyone praised the project and supported the plan," says Chhang.

At the same time, Chhang is working to set up close connections with the Documentation Center for War Crimes in the Hague, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in the US, that may provide continuous funding for the operation of the new DC-Cam.

"After all, this is not just about Cambodia. It's about humanity," points out Chhang.

He aims to see the new permanent DC-Cam finished and operational by 2003.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release