Landmine Museum, Siem-Reap

Quick Facts:

The war stretching throughout three decades has left many traces and unhealed wounds for Cambodia. More than six million mines installed under the ground like the scythe of death always threatening people's lives every day. Situated about 25 kilometers to the north of Siem Reap, inside the Angkor National Park, The Cambodian Landmine Museum was established in 1997 by Akira who was forced to participate into the Khmer Rouge as a mine layer.

 After the war ended, he has used his knowledge and ability to remove mines at the hazardous areas without any special equipment. Over many years, his private house has become a large collection of deactivated bombs, mines, explosive weapons and by the year 2000, the museum is quite well-known with locals and visitors. Akira started charging $1 for one time to see his unique collection and this money is used to continue maintaining his activities or donated to Child Relief Center nearby. He also received a lot of honor and support from individuals and international organizations. The story about Akira and his museum has widespread and become a bright example for everyone.

However, in 2007 the Cambodian government required to close Akira’s museum. The Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Fund, a Canadian NGO organization established Richard Fitoussi along with the funding of Tom Shadyac, a movie director from California supported money to buy the land and reconstructed the museum. Akira was allowed to move his collection to new situation inside the Angkor National Park, near Banteay Srey Temple. The new museum was formally opened to public on April 22, 2007. It consists of 4 gallery museum and also is the home of 27 children having the pitiful fate. Visiting The Cambodian Landmine Museum, travelers not only see what remains from the war but also listen to the true story about the horrifying life of Akira as well as the Cambodians at that time. History will be showed in front of you vividly through the traces remaining until today.

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