Background of the Peace Monument project
In February 2007 the Peace Monument project was set up at the DTW (Design Technology Workshop)warehouse in Phnom Penh. The project was coordinated by JSAC and funded by the Japanese Government. I was the artistic coordinator working with two teams of artists (ten in total).
Designs were selected by the two Governors and we started building the Monuments in March 2007. The first weapons we received in the workshop were destroyed in Battambang and the second load in Kompong Thom.
‘The Flame of Peace’ Weapons Destruction Ceremony was held on 24th May 2007 in Kompong Thom Provincial town.
Japan Assistance Team for Small Arms Management in Cambodia (JSAC) supported the Royal Government of Cambodia in organising this ‘Flame of Peace’.
2,428 small arms were destroyed, most of which were voluntarily surrendered by residents of Kompong Thom province. The destroyed weapons were then donated to the Peace Monument workshop.
The Monument built for Kompong Thom was a sculpture of three catfish with a globe balancing on the nose of the highest leaping fish. It was titled ‘World of Peace’.
The Monument was created by Cambodian Artists Sophon Samkhan, Choup Sopheak, Khem Sambo, Tan Vanno, Yen Entareak and Vong Daravy.
The sculpture is 3.5m in height with the total height of the monument being 5.3m high. It is permanently sited in the ‘Children’s park’ in Kompong Thom Provincial Town. The handover ceremony took place on September 27th 2007.
This monument is titled ‘Naga for Peace and Development’. It was created by Cambodian artists Toun Thorneakea, Ou Vanndy, Ouk Chim Vichet and Kim Samdy over a period of 7 months.
The sculpture is 5m in height and with the plinth and fountain base reaches a total of 6.5m. Roughly 2,350 small arms were used to create this monument and it is approximately 3 tonnes in weight.
The Peace Monument is permanently sited in a public park in Battambang Provincial city. The unveiling ceremony took place on 9th October 2007.
The Governor of Battambang was present at the ceremony in which local children, monks, police and military, JSAC, DTW and the artists attended.
This Monument together with ‘World of Peace’ are symbols of the efforts and commitment of the Cambodian people to establish a safe and peaceful society. It is also an outstanding example of the extraordinary creativity and talent of the Cambodian artists.