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.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • South Korea’s Moon arrives in Kingdom for state visit

    South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday at the start of a three-day state visit to Cambodia to strengthen ties and further the friendship between the two countries. After arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport in the

  • Youths band together to clean ‘filthy’ Boeung Trabek canal

    Inspired by their affection for the environment, a desire to have a clean and beautiful city, and wanting to send a message to people to stop littering, a group of some two dozen volunteer youths have taken to picking up trash day and night from