Cambodia’s Genocide Museum Conserves Clothing of Khmer Rouge Victims

via VOA News, 09 February 2018:

Many of the more obvious artifacts of mass crimes, torture implements, shackles, documents, were immediately preserved in the genocide museum set up inside S-21 by the Vietnamese administrators who occupied Cambodia, but the clothes were largely ignored.

All were virtually untouched for 40 years. Many of the garments began to deteriorate due to the effects of climate and haphazard handling.

Now this is changing, as the garments’ value as evidence and cultural artifacts is being recognized. Beginning late last month, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which is administered by Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture, began a multi-year project to conserve 3,000 to 5,000 cloth artifacts, funded with a $55,000 grant from the U.S. government. For the first time, the clothes will be sorted, preserved, and, in some cases, displayed as part of the memorial to the 1.7 million Cambodians who died, about 25 percent of the population, during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime between 1975-1979.

Source: Cambodia’s Genocide Museum Conserves Clothing of Khmer Rouge Victims | VOA News

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.

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