The King Norodom Sihanouk Statue is located near the Independence Monument is Phnom Penh City Centre at one end of a long strip of public land sandwiched between the Preah Sihanouk Boulevard and the Preah Suramarit Boulevard.
The statue was built in 2013 as a memorial to King Norodom Sihanouk who died on the 15th October 2012.
About the King Norodom Sihanouk Statue
The statue of the late king is 4.5 metres tall and is located under a Khmer style stupa, which is 27 metres tall and partially covered in gold leaf. The area around the statue is difficult to access because it is surrounded by busy roads, however, if you spend a few days in Phnom Penh driving around the city you are likely to pass the this memorial a number of times. The size of the statue and the memorial is clearly visible to passing traffic.
The statue is controversial. One of the controversial aspects of the statue is the cost incurred in building it, which the Cambodian government put at $1.2 million USD, which is in addition to the $5 million USD which was reputedly spent on a state funeral for the late king. Some critics have questioned why so much money was spent on the statue a time when the Cambodia government had been unable to provide funding for flood victims left homeless in the same year the statue was built or on any of a long list of other important projects to improve the country’s infrastructure and the welfare of the Cambodian people. The other controversial aspect of the statue is King Norodom Sihanouk himself. Some Cambodian people revere King Norodom Sihanouk for the part he played in the independence movement against French Colonial rule and the period of relative peace the country experienced under his leadership in the 1960s. Other Cambodians feel that his decision to support the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, and later involvement with the Government of Prime Minister Hun Sen reflect badly on their former King. Unsurprisingly, access to the inauguration ceremony for the statue in October 2013 was tightly controlled by large numbers of military police men and opposition political parties did not attend.
Location the King Norodom Sihanouk Statue
The King Norodom Sihanouk Statue is located 3.2 km from Phnom Penh Railway Station.