Friday, October 1, 2010

Fact or fiction?

Another victim of the Khmer Rouge? Fact or fiction?
In the gardens at the front of the National Museum in Phnom Penh stand two very large grey bronze elephant heads with tusks, though the surrounding foliage is doing its best to hide them. I was told that they used to be part of a massive four-headed elephant statue that was dedicated to Cambodians who'd lost their lives fighting in previous wars and stood in the center of the roundabout that sits between the French Embassy at the top of Monivong Boulevard and the road over the Japanese Bridge. That is until it was blown up by the Khmer Rouge in the mid 1970s and the remaining pieces housed at the Museum. Fact or fiction? Actually, I've just heard from a very reliable source who has confirmed that the elephants were part of the 'Monument to the Dead' (of WWI) that once stood in the small triangular gardens in the north of the city near the approach to the Chruoy Changvar bridge. And it was said to have been destroyed by explosives during the Khmer Rouge period. So its a fact afterall.
One of the 2 elephant heads in the grounds of the National Museum



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