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War relic returned: Phnom Penh buys piece of air history

War relic returned: Phnom Penh buys piece of air history

An aricraft relic found earlier this month in the Mekong river has been purchased by the Phnom Penh municipality, officials said yesterday.

Sun Kannareth, chief of Russey Keo commune police, said the aircraft wing, bearing a 1960s-era Cambodian Air Force logo, has been transported to the municipal city hall.

The move was ordered by Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema.

“These parts of aircraft are heritage found at the bottom of the river … which must be preserved and protected by the government’s conservation or UNESCO,” added Sun Kannareth.

Scrap metal yard owner Min Oma, 49, who bought the artefact from a fisherman for $400, said the municipality had reimbursed him to the tune of $500.

He told the Post on Tuesday that he had hoped to sell it for $1,000.

According to a senior official at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the aircraft bears the inscription “Made in USA”, with the Cambodian flag, and likely crashed during the civil war in the early 1970s.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

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