‘Ghost’ dollars offered for Pol Pot’s shoes: report
PHNOM PENH (AFP) — A Cambodian photographer’s attempt to sell the sandals of late Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot has yielded only one bid — 790,000 fake dollars offered in protest at the sale, a report said.
Nhem En, who photographed inmates at the regime’s main torture centre and also snapped pictures at official regime ceremonies, announced last month he was selling the footwear along with two cameras.
The shoes belonging to Pol Pot, who died in 1998, were made of car tyre, while the two cameras were manufactured in Germany and Japan.
But “bidder” Pok Leak Reasey told English-language Phnom Penh Post newspaper that he was offering 790,000 fake dollar bills traditionally used to make offerings to spirits of the dead.
“And the reason why I have offered the money in ghost notes is because I want to say that all material remaining from the regime is worth nothing,” he said, according to the paper.
Ghost money is used during funeral rites in many parts of Asia.
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 Tuol Sleng 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.