Charges filed against Bayon vandal

Cambodia has begun to file charges against Willemijn Vermaat, the Dutch-born New Zealand resident who admitted to destroying a Buddha statue in the Bayon. Amazingly, her response has been “I’m not worried. I didn’t do anything wrong.

Repairing the vandalised statue at the Bayon. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141023
Repairing the vandalised statue at the Bayon. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141023

Charges over broken statue
Phnom Penh Post, 22 October 2014

Court Complaint Lodged Against NZ Tourist
Cambodia Daily, 22 October 2014

Cambodia moves to prosecute Wellington woman over broken Buddha statue
One News, 23 October 2014

Charges have been filed in the case of a tourist from New Zealand who toppled and broke a Buddha statue in Cambodia’s ancient Bayon temple before fleeing back to New Zealand, a police official has confirmed.

“Even though she is not Cambodian, according to the law we have to file a complaint against her to protect our heritage and statues. It has already been presented at the [Siem Reap provincial] court,” said Pan Chay, chief of the heritage police in Siem Reap.

Chay declined to elaborate on the specific charges and the sentences they would imply, citing further investigation.

Willemijn Vermaat, the Dutch tourist who broke the statue, is now back in New Zealand, where she has lived for the past eight years.

Full story here.

Related Posts

Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *