Nhem EnApril 20, 2009
PHNOM PENH - A PHOTOGRAPHER for the Khmer Rouge said on Monday he is putting leader Pol Pot's sandals up for auction along with a pair of cameras used to picture life under his brutal regime.
Nhem En, who photographed inmates at the notorious S-21 torture centre and also snapped pictures at official ceremonies for the Cambodian regime, told AFP bidding for the items would open at US$500,000 (S$750,000)
'Now I offer for auction a pair of Pol Pot's sandals and my two cameras that I used to shoot Pol Pot and other Khmer Rouge leaders, as well as those who died and were victimised at S-21,' Nhem En said.
The sandals belonging to Pol Pot, who died in 1998, were made of car tyre, while the two cameras were manufactured in Germany and Japan, he added.
Nhem En, now a deputy governor of northwest Anlong Veng district, said he hoped to use the money to construct a museum to showcase photographs and items from the Khmer Rouge period, including Pol Pot's old toilet.
'I call for an auction of the items because I need the money to build a big museum in Anlong Veng,' he said.
Up to two million people died of starvation, execution, overwork or torture as the Khmer Rouge, which ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, dismantled society in a bid to forge a communist utopia.
The former chief of S-21 prison, Kaing Guek Eav - better known as Duch - is currently on trial for crimes committed during the regime. Cambodia's UN-backed court also plans to try four other senior Khmer Rouge leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.