Phnom Penh — On Friday Cambodia inaugurated a giant statue of the late King Norodom Sihanouk in honor of his achievements in securing the nation’s independence and contributing to its development and reconciliation.
The US$1.2 million, 4.5 meter-high copper statue is sheltered by a 27-meter-high stupa, and has been erected in a park across from the prime minister’s residence in Phnom Penh, according to a Bangkok Post report.
At the unveiling, Prime Minister Hun Sen said, “The statue is built to express gratitude and to commemorate the late King Norodom Sihanouk, the father of independence, territorial integrity and national unity”.
The late King died last year on October 15, and his royal funeral and cremation were held in February.
The statue is the first built to honor a former Cambodian leader, and took eight months to complete.
The Prime Minister said the memorial can be accessed by the public, and will serve as a place of commemoration for Cambodians and foreigners who wish to pay respects to the late king.
Sihanouk is regarded as the father of Cambodian independence from France in 1953, and also played a major role in achieving national reconciliation in 1991 through the Paris peace accords. Image/AP Photo/Heng Sinith/Boston.com